SAAQ puts radar on children’s backpacks to remind drivers to slow down

With students (well, some students) going back to school, the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) has introduced new advertising delivering timely reminders about the importance of safe driving: two focusing on speed and the other on distracted driving.

The campaign includes two TV ads and a radio spot.

For one video ad, called “Radars vivants” (or “Live Radars”) lg2 put working radar displays on the backpacks of children walking to school, helping drivers make the immediate and unavoidable connection between those most at risk by speeding.

Running on social media since Sept. 8, the ad features actual driver reactions as they pass by the children and realize they are going too fast.

“Many more parents may be encouraging their kids to walk or bike to school, so this kind of campaign is even more appropriate for the times,” said Luc Du Sault, lg2 partner, vice-president and creative director, in a release. “We wanted to connect with drivers by displaying their speed directly on the child. It was a simple step to then come up with the idea of a radar backpack.”  

An English radio ad called “Slowing down changes everything,” delivers a similar message about the importance of slowing down:

Man (speaking very fast): This morning near a school, a car hit and killed a young boy.

Engineer: Slower.

Man (with small pauses): This morning near a school, a car hit and badly injured a young boy.

Engineer: Slower, slower.

Man (slow with pauses): This morning near a school, a car hit and slightly injured a young boy.

Engineer: Ahhh, even slower.

Man (very slow): This morning… near a school… a car … avoided a young boy.

Narrator: Slowing down changes everything. A message from the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec

In the distracted driving ad, “Gardez toute votre attention sur la route” (or “Keep your mind on the road”) a young boy talks directly to camera, telling viewers “I hope you don’t have your head here,” followed by a series of shots of some of the everyday activities that can occupy people’s mind while driving, with the boy adding “or here” for each shot.

The spot then cuts to a driver whose mind is clearly elsewhere, as the boy says “Because I need your head not to be anywhere but here,” before stepping in front of the fast-approaching car, forcing the driver to slam on the brakes. The distracted driving ad is running on broadcast TV and online starting Sept. 14 until Oct. 11.

David Brown