New films use humour to engage with ‘careless road users’

12.00 | 24 June 2015 | | 2 comments

The West Midlands Road Safety Group (WMRSG) has unveiled three new online films which poke fun at misbehaving young drivers, passengers and motorcyclists by showing how others see them.

The three films were shot in the Kings Norton area of Birmingham, using a cast and crew of predominantly local young actors and actresses, stunt drivers and motorsport camera operators. They were created on behalf of the WMRSG by B3 Creative and Napoleon Creative.

The films use the strapline, ‘If you knew how we saw you, you’d act your age”

James Marsh, managing director of B3 Creative, said: “Young people can tire of being told by their ‘elders and betters’ that what they are doing is wrong. Well-intentioned advice can come across as hectoring and end up being counter-productive – young people simply tune out.

“However, an approach that has been shown to consistently work with young people is humour. The Advertising Standards Authority produced an interesting study on it a few years ago.

“So, when we were asked by the WMRSG to pitch for this work, we knew humour was the way forward. It certainly echoes our philosophy of The Three E’s – Engage, Entertain and Educate.”


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    Rod the government shut down the COI in 2012.

    It was established post war, 1946 I believe, from the Ministry of Information to produce public information films and campaigns on health, education, safety and welfare to name a few. The coalition government cut the spending on marketing and it eventually closed with its few remaining functions now under the cabinet office. The British Library did a wonderful exhibition and talks in 2013 on Propaganda, Power and Persuasion highlighting many of their films and campaign posters. We now have THINK but that is underfunded. The road safety officers National Film Committee produced some wonderful footage in things like The collector and Uneasy Rider. One problem was that the committee asked for themes for films and by the time they were produced other issues had been prioritised. That said their products are worth looking at and can be found in archive collections on the web.

    Peter Westminster
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    Every time I see a report of a “new road safety film” developed by a local Road Safety Team, I wonder just how much money could be saved, or the effect increased, if such messages were put together in a central and co-ordinated way by a national body.

    Whilst no-one doubts the intent and efforts put in by local Road Safety Teams, it surely is not the most effective way to respond to what are usually common concerns and objectives across the whole country.

    Rod King, 20’s Plenty for Us
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