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Brain on Board — a different way to look at safer driving

Posted by Tom Megginson | 31-01-2013 00:05 | Category: Road safety

Traffic Injury Research Foundation Brain on Board

This is my own work (and that of my colleagues at Acart Communications) so I’m not reviewing it here so much as sharing.

Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), Toyota Foundation and Acart partnered to launch a safer driving initiative that teaches Canadians how to use their vehicles’ advanced safety features more effectively. This is a reaction to research that shows some features are leading to overconfident — rather than safer — driving.

To get attention and engage audiences with out-of-home posters, we created visual puzzles that are a mix of rebus images and words. The objective is to draw the viewer’s curiosity, then engage them in using their own brains to decipher the headline. This is a mnemonic reminder that some things (like driving) need to be approached more thoughtfully.

The posters drive traffic to a campaign web site, brainonboard.ca, which is packed with TIRF’s research findings broken down for the public, with relevant information, statistics, and safer driving advice. The campaign is also social on Twitter and Facebook.

Traffic Injury Research Foundation Brain on Board

TIRF were the lead on this project, and they’re an interesting partner to have as they base all their communications on their ongoing research on influencing driver behaviour. We previously worked with them on an impaired driving campaign that focussed on reinforcing positive statements against drunk driving by people of all ages. It was a partnership with the Brewers Association of Canada, Arrive Alive and Student Life.

TIRF and the partners also give us the opportunity to try different creative approaches to get attention. The Brain on Board campaign, for example, we purposely threw out the conventions of readability and instant comprehension in the hope that we can open up a conversation about an aspect of safer driving that is urgent, but not yet well-understood.

Traffic Injury Research Foundation/Toyota Foundation/Acart Communications
Acart Communications (own work)
Additional credits:
Creative Director/Copywriter: Tom Megginson
Associate Creative Director: Vernon Lai
Senior Creative Director: John Staresinic
Art Director: Kerry Hodgson
Designers: Leslie Stewart & Sophie Jalbert
Digital Media Manager: Stacey Van Buskirk
V.P.Client Services: John Westbrook
Account Manager: Amanda van de Ven
Account Executive: Laurence de Montigny St-Onge
Production Manager: Lynn Norris
Change Marketing


Comments about Brain on Board — a different way to look at safer driving

Problem with puzzle type advertising is that if people want puzzles they search for them in particular magazines/journals, on particular pages, but if they see something like this they just turn a page or go away even if what these posters say is true. Puzzle advertising are for people who live in advertising, but not for anybody else.

Posted by pR | 31-01-2013 08:20

Comments about Brain on Board — a different way to look at safer driving

No, the problem is that some people’s brains are ‘closed’ by default, like the previous poster’s.  These ads are birlliant and help drive the point home (no pun intended, but recognized) that goes with the message that is being conveyed.  In this case the message is the meaning and the meanin is the message.  These messages draw the viewer in and I would think most people’s brains couldn’t resist the challenge - by and large we like to be informed, and we want to know what something says, even if it means expending some synaptic function to do so.  Obviously some people won’t expend the effort, the way some won’t put in the effort to pour mikl on their cereal before eating it, but I would think they would be in the monority.  The ironic part about this is that Toyota, the company with the most extensive and invasive technology that does more things that drivers *should* be doing, across their whole line, than any other manufacturer.  ‘STAR’ is not star in my book, the more cars do for people the less they will use their brains while operating them.

Posted by Prtoo | 31-01-2013 22:30

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