Irish International BBDO Crafts Road Safety PSA

By Erik Oster 

Irish International BBDO launched a new road safety PSA for Road Safety Authority Ireland, entitled “Anatomy of a Split Second.”

The spot follows the agency’s previous effort for Road Safety Authority Ireland, “Don’t Look Back,” which was released in June. Like its predecessor the PSA uses stylized presentation to deliver an affecting message. This time around, the spot, directed by Partizan’s Martin Stirling, deals in GIF-like loops. While the eerie music lets viewers know to anticipate something more, these begin as simple images of children playing in a backyard. One child drops his ice cream cone, showing a split second can have an impact, if only in a minor way. The action then shifts to a family driving as another car approaches, veering out of its path. The reason becomes clear as the driver is shown texting and the ad ends with his smart phone lying cracked on the payment. It’s an affecting way to deliver the message, steadily building tension until its impactful conclusion. 

“Mobile phone use is killing people on Irish roads,” Brian Farrell, communications manager at  Road Safety Authority Ireland, told Adweek. “We know for a fact that making a call while driving will make you four times more likely to crash. However, most people are not aware that you are a staggering 23 times more likely to crash when texting while driving. With our new advertising campaign our message is very clear—when you use your mobile phone behind the wheel, taking your mind and eyes off the road for just a split second can destroy everything forever.”