Every day, we take seemingly minor risks without thinking about the impact they may have on our children. Leading short-term insurer Santam understands that simply telling people to take care when they drive doesn’t necessarily mean that they will. But what if parents heard how their children felt about the risks they were exposed to while being driven by an adult?

The Challenge

To create a powerful, integrated campaign, driven by engaging content, to enhance awareness of Santam’s overarching campaign message: ‘Be Safe Out There’.

The Idea

Risk-taking on our roads and bad driving habits are part of the fabric of life in South Africa - but their true impact is often overlooked. To spark public interest, create awareness and promote social change, we were asked to develop a campaign aimed at changing people’s perspective of risk. As people typically ignore safety messages, we decided to focus on how children perceive risky behaviour on the road. In the lead-up to one of South Africa’s most dangerous periods on the road - Easter Weekend - we released the results of a national study of 1 000 children who shared their thoughts on their parents’ shocking driving habits.

The Solution

With the help of top experts, we conducted a national survey of South African children between the ages of seven and 12 to determine how they understand safety and what they've learnt from adults. To further strengthen the message, we created a bespoke film to illustrate these findings. A select group of children were paired with their parents and were filmed individually, capturing their very honest responses to their parents' risky behaviour. The study proved what we expected - parents say one thing about safety, but do another. And sometimes parents undermine the very same rules they are teaching their kids. Kids also shared strong emotions with us - they felt powerless and fearful when parents took risks such as driving while talking on their mobile phones or not wearing seat belts. The findings showed that although kids often mimic their parents' behaviour, they do not hold back when asked to expose their parents’ risky habits on the road. Santam partnered with a leading psychologist who gave parents advice on how to effectively teach children about safety. In addition, key statistics, insights and advice from industry experts were used to start a conversation across social media channels about how kids learn about safety. Content from the campaign was shared through ads targeted at parents on Facebook and Twitter.

The Results

The campaign was perfectly timed to achieve strong coverage across national TV, talk show radio programmes, and leading print and digital channels. Along with our King James Group agency partners, we achieved an estimated media reach of 30 million+, 270 000 YouTube views, 2.8 million impressions on Facebook, 300 000 impressions on Twitter, and R4.5 million in earned media exposure (PR value 3:1). More than 90% of all media articles highlighted that Santam is proactively demonstrating that a small change in thinking can enable South Africans to live safer lives.

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