The nice people at Naked Down Under have put together a rather lovely 'reverse polarity' campaign for the Transport Accident Authority to encourage people to get home safely.
Australia has long suffered with drink driving, causing many sad deaths every year - and the problem has been trending up.
This campaign takes the idea a step further than putting social content into broadcast communication, for all the very good reasons we discussed in the previous reverse polarity post.
The work sollicits real people to submit messages to specific loved ones, which will then be used in outdoor media on their routes home, and in radio spots, played during their normal commute times so they will see it or here it while driving.
Beyond the spot-on integrated content and context communications planning, the psychology here is smart, [it should be, since one of the partners at Naked Australia is a qualified forensic psychologist] and writ large in the solliciting spot above - by getting a real person to address another real person, even if that person isn't you, it turns statistics into narrative, into people.
Our brains don't handle statistics well, but they do like stories, about people. In fact, Kahneman has shown that we are in fact likely to believe individual stories in favor of statistics to the contrary - it's one of those delightful heuristics that warp our perceptions of reality and ourselves.
I also think that this works by interrupting what I've called the I'm Special Bias [a variant of the Lake Wobegone effect] - your brain believes people die because of drink driving, but it also, secretly, believes that this doesn't really apply to you, because, well you are special.
When you hear the message from Caitlan to her Dad, you stop being special, stop being a statistic, and become someone's Dad.
Get #homesafely this holiday season.