Kia Wrecks the Alphabet in This Gripping, Surprisingly Visceral Anti-Texting PSA

Twisted metal letters

Don't be a crash text dummy.

Kia Motors takes an unexpected turn in the war on texting and driving with a new ad that dramatically destroys letters of the alphabet, all to show that the moment you begin typing, you can no longer fully concentrate on the road.

In the dazzling minute-long spot, "Crash Text," an "A" explodes in plumes of smoke and fire, an "N" slowly crumples as it burns, an "E" cracks and shatters like a windshield during a highway crash, and an "X" drips blood. Each takes place in mesmerizing slow motion, with extreme attention to detail. It's like a Sesame Street alphabet video run horribly amok, and defiling such familiar symbols with surprising brutality strikes a primal chord. (Liberty Mutual tried something similar a while back, substituting oversize, crumbling abbreviations like OMG, TXT and LOL for smashed cars, but Kia's approach is more visceral.)

Richard Copping, ecd at Saatchi & Saatchi Dubai, calls the abstract style a deliberate departure from PSA norms, designed to laser-focus viewers' attention on the act of texting while driving. "I hope that when people see the film, they will learn from it," he says.

The spot, airing online and in cinemas, broke this week in Egypt, which has the highest number of road accidents per miles driven in the world, averaging about 12,000 auto fatalities in recent years. Like many countries, Egypt prohibits the use of cellphones while driving unless hands-free functionality is involved.

Hopefully, this campaign will remind drivers to follow the letter of the law.

(Via Design Taxi)