TAC resumes How Safe is Your Car campaign with focus on automatic braking

Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission is campaigning for drivers to buy cars that can brake automatically in a new Sliding Doors-style ad that shows two different outcomes to the same incident.

In the second TV campaign from TAC’s new agency Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, the commercial directs audiences to the How Safe is Your Car website where users can search for their own car and compare its safety level to other models and brands.

It sees the TAC resume its How Safe is Your Car campaign which in 2011 promoted curtain airbags and in 2004 focused on electronic stability control (ESC) features.

TAC senior manager road safety Samantha Cockfield told Mumbrella: “The strategy is to create awareness within the Victorian community of the technology and to encourage early uptake. If you’re buying a new car, insist on a car with AEB.

“This is a fairly new technology that’s been seen in higher end vehicles for a while now and it’s starting to get introduced into everyday cars. All the evidence is that its really positive in terms of both reducing crashes and mitigating the crash impact, slowing the impact of the crash. It’s really got large potential in reducing death and serious injuries on our roads.

It is a move away from more recent campaigns which have focused on driver behaviour, such as falling asleep at the wheel.

“It’s still a behaviour change campaign at the end of the day, we’re asking people to do something a bit differently to increase their safety and increase the safety of the whole community. It’s built on some information from Monash University which says that if overnight everybody moved into the safest car of the same class of car they’re in, it would reduce overnight fatalities and injuries. Just by people driving the safest car we could reduce road trauma by a third,” Cockfield said.

“We know that vehicle safety is a key lever in terms of reducing trauma. We also know that when we started the How Safe is Your Car campaign, knowledge about car safety was minimal and people assumed because the government allowed cars onto our roads and allowed them to be registered they would contain all the safety features needed. When in fact while the government does set minimum standards, not all cars are created equal and certainly some cars have greater safety features and greater crash protection features than others and of course we want people to chose the one that’s going to be safest for them and their families.”

Cockfield argued that rather than spruiking on behalf of manufacturers, it put pressure on them to make the make the automatic braking option standard.

“The campaign is primarily aimed at talking about a generic safety feature. Part our strategy with the campaign is making sure before we start talking to the general community about these technologies they are certainly available in all classes of cars. We’re not just going out and talking to people about buying a high end car, this feature is now available in the lower end of the market,” Cockfield said.

“We’re not asking people to chose between one manufacturer or another, this feature is available in over 50 models now in the Australian market but often it’s an option not a standard feature so you have to ask for it, so we’re encouraging people to ask for it.

“It’s putting more pressure on manufacturers to make it standard.”

Clemenger Melbourne was appointed to the TAC account in December last year which saw incumbent of over 20 years Grey Melbourne lose the account.

“I think it’s been a great transition with a new agency after a very long period with another agency,” Cockfield said of the new agency relationship.

“It’s working very well, they’re very excited to be working on our road safety campaigns. They’re excited and enthusiastic and starting to come to understand the enormity of the task we have in terms of reducing trauma on our roads.”

The 2011 curtain airbag ad:

The 2004 ESC ad:

Miranda Ward


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