The best of non-profit advertising and marketing for social causes

Campaign of the Year 2010: Embrace Life – always wear your seatbelt

Campaign of the Year 2010: Embrace Life – always wear your seatbelt

campaign2010We’re proud to announce the winner of Osocio’s Campaign of 2010: Embrace Life – always wear your seatbelt. The video became an absolute hit in the Social Advertising world last year. And now it is official: we think that this is the best what was made in 2010.

See all nominees here.

The work from director Daniel Cox is part of a wider campaign from the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP). But the video from the campaign was the big surprise for us. We wrote about it for the first time a year ago, in January. Now it is viewed 13,293,485 times on YouTube.

Jury member Tim Nudd:
The whole safe-driving category is full of blood and guts and scare tactics. “Embrace Life” beautifully goes in the other direction, artfully and poignantly making the point that you should wear a seatbelt because you want to live—not because you don’t want to die. It’s one of the most touching and compelling PSAs I’ve ever seen, and an overwhelming viral success. What more could you want from a social campaign?

Jury member Nedra Kline Weinreich:
The Embrace Life ad is one of my favorite examples to show when I talk about how to bring emotion into your message. Through a combination of a family scene that many can connect with, bringing in the strong underlying value of protecting and being protected by your family, with the drama heightened by the music, this ad makes me tear up every time I see it. It’s also a great example of how to use a positive message to promote traffic safety rather than the graphic blood-and-guts approach that turns many people off.

Jury member Tom Megginson:
Embrace Life had no shock, no clever reveal, and the special effects were just a slow motion camera. But by drawing the viewer into an authentic emotional connection between a man and his family, it communicated one simple message: you should wear your seatbelt because you want to live for them, and because they want you to live. I’m a father, and it literally brought tears to my eyes the first time I watched it. That doesn’t happen often.


The campaign has scooped a wide range of awards, including YouTube Ad of the Year, a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award, Gold World Medal, New York International Advertising Awards; a Bronze Lion at the Cannes International Advertising Awards; Highly Commended from the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation and the advert was also featured in the Advertising Producers Award (APA) 2010 collection.

Global support for the campaign has been high – especially through Twitter and Facebook, where one viewer was moved to create a group dedicated to getting the campaign on TV.

We did an interview last year with Neil Hopkins, the Communications Manager from SSRP. Read it here.

The jury had no doubts. Embrace Life received twice as many votes as No 2.
This is the top-5:
1 Embrace life – always wear your seatbelt
2 Aides: Naughty Graffiti
3 It Gets Better
4 The Majestic Plastic Bag
5 The Guide Dog Interviews

Judging Social Advertising isn’t easy. It isn’t a mathematic range to assess. It is about feelings we all have, it is about real life problems, big or small.
Or what Jean julien Guyot from SID LEE said to me last week:
“It’s pretty hard to assess its campaigns on subjective criteria only.
However, a primary goal of a measure of success for a social campaign, is to touch the heart of people. That’s how I proceeded.”

For the 2010 version the Osocio bloggers gave their votes. And we are very gratefull that ten friends and allies voted too.
Thank you:

  • Aurélia Courtot, founder and blogger at
  • Constantin Nimigean, Owner and blogger at oitzarisme, a website about photography and founder of Love Issue online magazine.
  • Fırat Yıldız, Art Director at McCann Erickson Turkey and blogfriend for a long time at Elma+Alt+Shift.
  • Geoff Livingston, former public relations strategist, now Co-Founder, CMO at Zoetica.
  • Jean julien Guyot, Trust Manager at agency SID LEE and blogfriend for a long time at IPUB.
  • Martina Zavagno: Interactive marketer working for a premium sports brand. And famous advertising blogger at Adverblog.
  • Nedra Kline Weinreich, Founder of Weinreich Communications, expert in the field of Social Marketing.
  • Olga Figurska, Editor in Chief at the Polish website about social advertising Kampanie Społeczne.
  • Sacha Declomesnil: E-marketing and web2.0 strategist. Specialist in fundraising 2.0. His blog.
  • Tim Nudd, Editor at


At Osocio we think that creative credits are very important.
These are the full credits for Embrace Life:

Writer/Director: Daniel Cox
Producer: Sarah Alexander
Executive Producer: Neil Hopkins

Father: Austin Spangler
Mother: Lara Corrochano
Daughter: Clare Denning

Composer: Siddhartha Barnhoorn

Assistant Director/ Production
1st Assistant Director: Lucy Wigmore
Assistant Producer: Vicky Del Campo
Runner: Tom Harburt

Director of Photography: Luke Scott
Phantom Technician: Jason Berman
Focus Puller: John Mitchell
Gaffer: John Cantwell
Spark: Gary Nagle
Camera assistant: Steve Mayhew

Art Department:
Production Designer: Aoife Wilson
Art Director: James Custance
Storyboards: Peter Johnston

Hair and Make-up
Make-up Designer: Victoria Riches
Hair Stylist: Haylie Jay

Set Build:
Construction Manager: Callum Andrews
Transport Captain: Bernard Cox

Editor: Daniel Cox
Colorist: Pat Wintersgill
Graphics Designer: Laylah Driscoll – Insert Graphics

Marketing and Promotion lead: Neil Hopkins
Communications Team: Mims Davies and Steve Whitehead

Very Special Thanks: Laylah Driscoll

Special Thanks to
Ken Seymour, Take 2 Films, Dan Thomas, Stephanie Morgan, Mark Purvis, Mark Rafferty, Tyronne, Rowena Siorvanes, Panalux, Ashley Wing, Chris Stribbling, Rigby Andrews, Gordon Russell and Halliford Studios

Founder of Osocio. It all started with collecting election posters in 1973. And that's never stopped. Read more.