For decades now, the region has become accustomed to and numbed by road safety messages. They have all the impact of a warning label on a pack of cigarettes.
With radio one of those most contextual channels through which to deliver such a message, it’s use for road safety messaging is most prevalent. But rather than using our sparse media dollars to push just another radio PSA, Chevrolet leveraged this channel as tool to directly change human behavior on the road.
Road traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities peak in the holy month of Ramadan, when day-long fasts and late nights result in hungry, sleepy and grumpy commuters.
As a car maker dedicated to road safety, Chevrolet wanted to do something about this. But without the budget for a major campaign, we didn’t simply want to add to the existing archive of easily ignored road safety messaging that was already out there.
Instead of focusing on the widest reach, we honed our efforts on driving the greatest impact.
• Create a meaningful & measurable impact on Ramadan road safety with a limited budget
• Don’t just change attitudes, but directly affect behavior and safety on the roads
Describe the creative idea/insights
To create meaningful change, we focused on those moments when we could make the biggest change, when traffic was at its worst.
A simple insight from a study in the Journal of Ergonomics guided our approach: Soothing music can be an effective tool in reducing aggressive driving behavior.**
With this in mind, we created Road Rage Radio – partnering with three popular UAE radio stations who let us to take over the radio waves when traffic was at its worst, and use music to calm the nation’s road rage.
Simply, we’d shuffle each radio station’s daily playlist to play lower-tempo tracks when drivers needed it most. By creating a proprietary software application, we could analyze real-time road conditions and adjust the radio station’s playlists dynamically. When traffic was normal, nothing would change. But as traffic grew more intense, our software would activate and play more relaxing and soothing tracks.
Describe the strategy.
We simply didn’t have the budget to sustain a radio sponsorship throughout each and every day of Ramadan. This is why our software was so crucial.
Our media plan wasn’t determined by people - It was left for the software to determine when our sponsorship would activate – at only those moments when traffic was at its worst.
And we weren’t really using up any radio time. We were simply shuffling the day’s playlist to play the most calming tracks when traffic was at its worst. The only messaging from Chevy would be a short 10 second intro message at the start of each hour our sponsorship was activated by the software.
Describe the execution.
Using HERE Technologies’ mapping API, we created software that could identify, isolate and analyze data across selected major roadways and traffic zones in the UAE each day during Ramadan.
The software we developed would take this data and categorize the traffic density every hour and assign one of four road rage rankings (from green to red). This is how we were able to know when our anti-road rage playlists were most needed. The same software was used to analyze and categorize the songs on each radio station’s daily playlist according to tempo. The worst traffic would be linked the most soothing tracks on each playlist.
If troublesome traffic was identified, our sponsorship would be triggered at the start of each hour with a short message would be played on each station introducing our radio hour and triggering our playlists.
List the results.
Dynamically running our sponsorship at only peak accident hours, we managed to help reduce accidents during this period, on a shoestring budget.
In the first two weeks of Ramadan alone:
• Accidents dropped from 157 in 2017 to 111 in 2018 ***
• Road injuries dropped from 237 in 2017 to 136 in 2018 ***
• Road deaths decreased from 26 in 2017 to 16 in 2018 ***