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Case Study

Transport for NSW STOP IT. OR COP IT.

Stop It or Cop It
Stop It or Cop It

Dramatising the fact that Police could pop up anywhere, at anytime.


Creative advertising agency Bastion Banjo were asked to help reduce the road toll, by increasing compliance with road rules. To do this, we tapped into the anxiety and nervousness amongst road rule breakers. Our idea dramatises that Police could pop up anywhere, at any time, and in all weather conditions – day or night. This campaign is the enforcement component of Transport for NSW’s broader strategy ‘Towards Zero’.

In 2015, road crashes resulted in the death of 350 people, and 23,146 injured. In the 12 months ending December 2016, there were 384. This was 34 (10%) more fatalities than the previous 12 months. 71% of these deaths were of males. Of these fatal crashes, 64% involved a driver or rider engaging in at least one unsafe road behaviour.

Transport for NSW partnered with Bastion Banjo to develop a behavioural brand campaign with the objective of repositioning the perceived likelihood of getting caught, as well as being able to identify the key unsafe behaviours that are being enforced.

The behavioural goal was to reduce the incidence of key unsafe behaviours – these being seat belt non-usage, drink driving, speeding and phone use. Due to the campaign’s successful rollout, it has been extended to cover additional behaviours, including ‘hooning’ on personal water craft, and drug use while driving (MDT).

While there were several behavioural change theories (nudges) that we could apply, evidence supported the application of Deterrence Theory as it produces the highest perceived certainty in apprehension. For this fear of punishment to be effective, individuals must believe that the likelihood of apprehension is high. This is all about creating one emotion, and that is anxiety. Without the perception of enforcement certainty, road users are more likely to remain undeterred by sanctions such as fines and will continue to engage in unsafe road user behaviours.

The campaign created anxiety by dramatising that Police could pop up anywhere, at any time and in all weather conditions – day or night. This execution uses a match cutting technique to cut together our hero Police Officer approaching offender vehicles across a number of different locations, times and weather conditions. The technique helped to demonstrate the idea that police can enforce the road rules anywhere, anytime and in any conditions.
The overall brand message was delivered via statistics on police presence and reinforced with anywhere, anytime. The campaign framework was also robust enough to hold additional messages, as relating to specific driving behaviours. For example, with the RBT execution, we needed to address the myths that existed around ‘where’ and ‘when’: ‘NSW police don’t just stick to main roads or certain times of day’, and also that ‘every police vehicle can carry out random breath tests’. For the mobile phone, speeding and seat belt executions we wanted to remind the driver that ‘every police vehicle can enforce the road rules’ (anywhere, anytime).

The OOH was tightly aligned visually with the TV, and used in high traffic areas to prompt recall and act as a deterrent. It also ran across digital, radio, and social in metro and regional markets. Whilst it was clearly from the same campaign (look, feel, tone), these sites were also designed to work as standalone campaign messages.

Transport for NSW has advised that the campaign is very successful in achieving its aim. It has steadily gained recognition, it is cutting through and the message is understood. Importantly, those who have seen the campaign are twice as likely to notice police on the roads versus those who have not seen it. This audience also acknowledged that Police enforcement can be anywhere and anytime – and there is a greater risk of them getting caught. The campaign’s success has resulted in additional behaviours and executions, specifically MDT (drug testing) being added to the suite of messages. The campaign is playing an integral role in a portfolio strategy of messages that together work to improve road safety and compliance.

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