NZTA Drive Phone Free

NZTA (New Zealand Transport Agency) is running “Drive Phone Free”, (Phone Palming) a commercial encouraging drivers and passengers to question the use of mobile phones when behind the wheel. At the heart of the NZTA Drive Phone Free campaign is a commercial, “Hello”, in which passengers place their hands over the driver’s mobile phone when he or she is tempted to check messages or answer calls, a simple and non-verbal request for the driver to put their passenger’s safety first. Set to Lionel Ritchie’s 1984 hit, “Hello”, the commercial finishes with the message, “Drive Phone Free. Put Me First”.

NZTA Drive Phone Free commercial

Drive Phone Free Campaign

The campaign launched on 27 March 2016 and has a large digital online and social presence. The campaign is also supported with radio spots for in-car moments. The distraction campaigns are supported with a range of driver distraction education tools and interactive learning functions online at Video content will be run on online TV, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Vevo, Pandora, Spotify and will be supported by radio.

The NZTA Drive Phone Free Approach

NZTA explains the thinking behind the campaign…

“Using a mobile phone while driving is actually viewed as unacceptable by many people when they’re asked about it; yet it’s still a behaviour that is readily undertaken and there’s currently little social stigma attached to it. Cultural change will only occur when people start publicly stating that they have an issue with it. This hasn’t really started happening yet. Although our audience regularly uses their mobile phones (checking social media, texting, playing music and using apps), there are certain social situations where they’re starting to evaluate whether or not it’s ok to do so, e.g. on a first date or during live theatre. What creates this continuous evaluation is the thought that someone might have an issue with what they’re doing.”

“The campaign aims to use this insight and encourages young drivers to question their use of mobile phones while driving. It’s the first step in getting young people to view things from a different perspective – their passenger’s. By showing them that their passengers find their flippant mobile phone use unacceptable in the car, our audience will start to reconsider its appropriateness.”

NZTA Drive Phone Free commercial with driver and passenger holding hands

Drive Phone Free Credits

The NZTA Drive Phone Free campaign was developed at Clemenger BBDO Wellington, and Proximity Wellington, by executive creative director Brigid Alkema, creative director Emily Beautrais, art director Steve Hansen, copywriter Mike Gwyther, agency producers Marty Gray and Jen Gasson, group account director Linda Major, account director Bethany Omeri, account manager Matt Barnes, working with NZTA principal scientist Paul Graham, principal advisor Rachel Prince and senior education advisor Adrian Stephenson.

Media was handled at OMD by managing partner Matt McNeil, senior account manager Katy Baker and account manager Georgia McNaught.

Filming was shot by director Ric Cantor via Curious Film with executive producer Matt Noonan, producer Stu Giles, director of photography Crighton Bone and editor Luke Haigh.

Sound was designed by Paul Stent at Clemenger BBDO.

Music, “Hello” by Lionel Richie, arranged by Jim Hall at Franklin Rd, was sung by Wellington artist Age Pryor and .