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Give your Seatbelt a Hug

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February 17, 2010
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I’ve seen this ad, produced by Sussex Safer Roads partnerships, three times in the last few days, so the chances are, you may have already seen it too. But the message it shares is so important, and the method of delivery so subtle, mouldbreaking and inspired, that if even one more person sees it and passes it on, it is worthwhile to share again.

It is called ‘Embrace Life’ and its sole purpose is to persuade you to always wear a seatbelt. You’d think that would be easy, given the proportion of car occupant fatalities who didn’t belt up, but the problem, which I’ve just illustrated is that to get the message across you have to talk about death, injury and crashes. And when you do that, people switch off. No-one thinks it will happen to them. And even having seen a graphic portrayal of the gruesome results of failing to clunk-click, the intended recipient of the message has dissociated the ad from their own life.

What this film does, is to come at the problem from a different angle, and with an impact that is emotional without being scary or sensational. I think the experience may vary from person to person, some may cry, others may feel uplifted, but I defy anyone not to be moved in some way.

Daniel Cox, the writer-director has this to say:

“It was central to the development of the project that we root the concept of wearing a seat belt firmly in the family domain, and create the advert so that it could be viewed by anyone of any age. Children are so important as opinion formers within their family that we felt it imperative to have a child take a pivotal role in relaying our message. One key aspect to the storytelling is that we developed Embrace Life to be non-language specific, so that the message wouldn’t become lost when viewed by visitors to, or residents of, the UK where English might not be their first language.”

I’ve waffled enough. Watch the ad.

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