Monday, June 23, 2014

Commercial 1 - Mistakes


"In the moment before a car crash, time pauses and allows two drivers to have a conversation. It becomes clear that speed will determine the outcome."

In order to solve the speeding problem in New Zealand, BBDO Wellington created a powerful film with a message most "skilled" drivers need to hear. The two drivers in the commercial share a brief moment of conversation before their cars collide. No matter how much one father pleads, they can do nothing but wait as in real life there is no moment of slowing down before a car crash. At first glance, it seems to be using a humorous technique with the computer effects of slowing down the cars and landscape, but it quickly goes dark. Even though the commercial uses a fear tactic to get people to slow down, it uses it efficiently by showing the anguish and helplessness of the actors. It was very real, showing the human side behind our mistakes on the road. What really caught my attention was the message at the end of the commercial: "Other people make mistakes. Slow down." It wasn't "Stop Driving Fast" or "Don't Wait Till the Last Second," it acknowledges that people make mistakes but people can avoid them by slowing down.

This commercial and campaign won a few lions, so it's hard to point out things it could improve/add on to improve production. The message was strong and when the landscape froze except for the actors, it allowed the message of "being aware of the environment around you" to come through. Also, the impact of only seeing the crash from the inside of the car is effective because it allows the audience to see from the child's point of view - which is depressing.

There was no music in this commercial and that was a smart technique. Instead of using sad welling music to invoke emotion, the way the actors portray their helplessness and how they wished they could change the situation gave more of a powerful message. Unlike most car crash commercials where they show blood and the aftermath, this film cuts straight to black after the defining moment to show the message. This gives strong motivation for the audience after that burst of adrenaline. 

Client: New Zealand Traffic Authority 
Product: Speed
Entrant Company: Finch Sydney, Australia
Advertising Agency: Clemenger BBDO Wellington, New Zealand

Lions Won
Film - Gold (Public Health & Safety)
Film Craft - Silver (Direction), Bronze (Script)

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