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

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


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,, 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.


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

I am Creative Director at Acart Communications, a Canadian Social Issues Marketing agency. Read more