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Keeping drivers safer on rural roads

We have worked with Kent County Council’s Road Safety team for over 10 years across a wide range of initiatives to reduce the number of those killed or seriously injured on Kent’s roads each year.

Research shows that three in five deaths happen on rural roads, that is main routes outside of town centres with a speed limit of 50mph or more. Therefore, to tackle this Zest the Agency were tasked by Kent County Council Road Safety team to deliver a new campaign directed at drivers with a message of using appropriate speed for rural roads. Drivers between 17 and 34 years old are a key target group for KCC because data shows them to be the most vulnerable group in speed related crashes on rural roads.

The focus of the campaign was a series of commercials which Zest crafted, filmed and edited to address different hazards and messages that specifically targeted age groups within our overall audience. The concept was to show a driver being confronted by their conscience, asking questions and posing potential dangers. Our aim was to reinforce positive behaviour through peer to peer interaction, in a way that would appeal to our target audience. Whilst also suggesting the potential consequences through anticipated regret and gain framed style messages that would provoke thoughts such as ‘what could I gain from positively changing my behaviour’.

Through our work with KCC, influencing and inciting behavioural change helps make the roads safer and adds a tangible level of importance to marketing communications. Therefore, for this campaign we focussed our attention on the Transtheoretical Model of Change, which considers the importance in influencing the target audience at any stage of their behaviour change. Whether that is at the stage of pre-contemplation through to maintaining a positive change in behaviour.

Our focus from an advertising perspective was to be specific with targeting different ages within our audience, displaying content and messages in the right environment and at the right time, which would be the most relevant and therefore the most likely to gain engagement. Our attention was on targeted media through ITV on Demand, DAX, social media and Youtube. We also saw the importance in raising awareness county-wide through Kent Online, Heart Kent and local outdoor formats.

The campaign to date has gained over 2 million impressions on social media and Youtube, reaching 217,336 people. Locally the campaign gained over 1 million impressions and 2,810 clicks from Kent Online coverage. Through local radio and digital audio advertising the campaign further increased impressions but over 3 million, with an estimated 122,940 people being shown the campaign on ITV on Demand.