Project: Teen Road Safety Advertising Tracking Waves 5 & 6

Reference: 5565

Last update: 07/11/2005 13:13:59


. To measure the impact of the Distractions advertising in terms of awareness and outtake
. To measure ongoing attitudinal statements relating to accident perception, and behaviour



Research carried out in 2004 showed that a new approach was needed to build on the awareness generated by the Department for Transport - My House campaign. Consequently, the new Distractions advertising campaign was created following extensive qualitative work, and aired from 22nd August for three weeks on television.

The My House campaign had run between 2002 and 2004, showing on TV and cinema, along with the Stereo and Mobile advertisements for radio and a poster campaign using computer game imagery.


To benchmark the audience before the advertising, and measure the awareness after advertising, face-to-face interviews were carried out by ChildWise, among young people attending secondary school in school years 7-11 (ages 11-16). 200 interviews were targeted at each school year to give a total target sample of 1000 children pre / 1000 children post advertising.


The Distractions advertisement appeared on TV channels from 22nd August to 12th September 2005. The 'Stereo' and 'Mobile' radio advertisements were part of an ongoing radio advertising campaign. The majority of fieldwork took place as follows:

Aug 2005 Wave 5 (Pre-advertising) : 1st - 14th August 2005
Sept 2005 Wave 6 (Post-advertising) : 12th - 25th September 2005


Child Wise
111 Queens Road, Norwich, Norwich, East Anglia, NR1 3PL
01603 630054

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £40,350.00

Actual start date: 31 July 2005

Actual completion date: 14 October 2005

Summary of results

  1. Conclusions

    o The road safety opinions and awareness of the target group have improved over the course of the research:
    - the perception that they could be involved in road accidents has continued to increase over time
    - children now recognise that their age group is the most at risk from road accidents, especially so for those who have heard or seen the most recent campaigns (Stereo / Mobile or Distractions)
    - children perceive road accidents as the main cause of death amongst their age group, where drugs used to be the main perceived cause
    - most realise that road accidents involving children their age are at least in part caused by the children themselves
    - there is evidence that the My House advertising campaign has widely helped to influence opinions and awareness, and there are signs that Distractions has already had a small effect

    o However, road safety behaviour shows little positive improvement:
    - road behaviour has not improved beyond initial levels, with some aspects of behaviour now worse than ever
    - whilst the majority claim to take care or obey road safety rules, most also participate in risky behaviour, especially older children
    - at this early stage there is no indication whether the Distractions advertising will be able to have a positive effect on road behaviour

    o Distractions has made a big, positive impact at its first showing:
    - compared to My House, Distractions' wider media exposure, shocking simplicity and instant memorability has meant that recall is much higher - three in ten recall it spontaneously, and six in ten recognise it when prompted
    - but unlike My House, its high impact may also have inbuilt wear-out, with a shorter execution, and less plot and intellectual content than the previous campaign
    - outtake is in its early stages, limited to descriptive comment spontaneously and simple road safety messages when asked what the advert was trying to say. If the advert maintains its impact, then this should become more rich over time, as was the case with My House

    o Radio appears to be about half as effective as TV for awareness, both spontaneous and prompted:
    - fewer children have heard any radio ads for road safety, and although most of those who have heard refer to Stereo or Mobile, other adverts are now competing to be top of mind
    - spontaneous outtake on content and message is less specific, resembling initial levels, however when asked what the advertising was trying to say, almost all volunteered a response, the sum of which was as rich as at previous waves
    - whilst recall and outtake may have suffered in a more competitive market, the campaign still appears to be effective amongst those who heard it, with most agreeing with positive statements, and few agreeing with negative statements, about the adverts