Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Reason Men Speed? It's All In Your Penis!

Do any of those "anti" ad campaigns really work? All the ads in the world showing the serious injury and death that speeding can cause are becoming less effective. Increasingly, young guys simply reject this message. They have an “it won’t happen to me” attitude. In Australia, the 'Speeding. No one thinks big of you' campaign takes a totally different approach. This funny campaign basically puts the problem at the core of their manhood - Young men who speed do so because they have a small penis - or so the new RTA road safety campaign implies.

This ad campaign shows young drivers an immediate consequence… because when it comes to speeding, no one thinks big of you. It purposely talks to young guys in their language. Testing of the finished ad has shown this is a very salient thought that will change young drivers’ behavior. It could very well be the thread that unravels the mindset that speeding is cool. Ads from the $1.9 million campaign - which targets speeding among 17- to 25-year-olds - aired for the first time on TV last week. They show onlookers who see speeding male drivers wiggling their pinkie fingers. The gesture represents a small penis in youth culture, but even an elderly woman employs it. You can watch the video on YouTube by Clicking Here! The campaign, which runs across the state, includes TV and cinema ads, posters in bus shelters, and a 15-second "viral" internet ad that offers "speedsters" an "xtra xtra small" condom.

John Whelan, the RTA's director of business co-ordination, road safety and policy, said the campaign aimed to make speeding socially unacceptable. "To me [the gesture] says 'speeding - no one thinks big of you'," he said. "It will cause people who are speeders to think twice about the image they are creating." The ads would be controversial, he said, but traditional "shock horror advertising" that highlighted injury and death from speeding was no longer effective on "people exposed to computer games, modern media … and horror films". "We will do what we feel we have to to get the message through," Mr Whelan said.

In Australia speeding is a factor in about 40 per cent of road deaths each year. This means more than 220 people die each year because of speeding. In addition to those killed, more than 4000 people are injured in speed-related crashes each year. The estimated cost to the community of speed-related crashes is about $500 million a year. Conditions or factors involved in speeding-related crashes include: A high number of fatal crashes involved country resident drivers on local country roads, almost 80 per cent of speed-related fatal crashes happened on curves, around 77 per cent of speeding vehicles involved in fatal crashes were cars or light trucks and more than 80 per cent of speeding drivers involved in fatal crashes were male. By highlighting the consequences the campaign also aims to increase the social unacceptability of speeding.

Sometimes it takes a little "shock" to get peoples attention. Look at us here in America. we see the ads all the time. Buckle Up. Speed Kills. Drink Responsibly. Do they work? In a way yes, but in a way, no. I think any attempt to make something socially unacceptable is worth the shot. Look at what the Secondhand Smoke campaign has done to smokers. Now it's kind of unacceptable to smoke. So you people of

People of Australia, you rock on with your new ad campaign. I hope it works...if not, heck, we all got a good laugh from it!