20 years of saving lives: TAC & Grey

I had the privilege of seeing the case studies on TAC (Transport Accident Commission), Australia some 10 years ago. The presentations were made by the creators of the campaign, Grey Melbourne. The campaign promoting road safety had gone to win several effectiveness awards already. Now, marking the 20th anniversary of the campaign, Grey Melbourne has released a new ad for the Christmas season.

Awesome, gut wrenching stuff. The choice of track is spot on.

The campaign always sought to ‘shock and outrage’ the viewer. The tag line ‘if you drink, then drive, you are a bloody idiot’ had the right tone of voice – calling a spade a spade and no mollycoddling the reader.  I was involved in a car accident myself (thankfully, the only person who was physically injured was yours truly) due to um, er..something idiotic I did. So the campaign rings true for me even more.

Not all of the work resorts to blood & gore to drive home the point. A recent press ad, won the Caxton Awards in Australia for Best Copy in a Newspaper ad.

TAC_Mum_Press_HR 2

Agency: Grey Melbourne. Copywriter: Nigel Dawson. View a hi-res version here.

According to Campaign Brief:

It has contributed to saving over 10,000 lives and 100,000 serious injuries; the financial savings to Victoria are estimated to be $67 billion.

Consistency has been one of the keys to the campaign’s success. Over the 20 years there have been just two creative directors: Greg Harper, who created the campaign with Stewart Byfield, and Nigel Dawson. Only a handful of writers and art directors have worked on the business, along with only 5 Account Directors.

Around this time, several ‘Don’t drink & drive’ banners will begin to show up in several Indian cities. Pity that such messages have almost become blind spots in India – the right time to applaud and learn from one of the most effective public service campaigns of recent times.

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  1. Amrita says

    Got Goosebumps.The commercial was so hard-hitting! At the end of it I was very disturbed. And I am sure that is the reaction they wanted to generate. The choice of the soundtrack was perfect. The print ad was touching. Awesome stuff!

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