Belt up: NZTA gets real about the power of the seatbelt

NZ Transport Agency and Clemenger BBDO are on a mission to prove the value of seatbelts, with an emotional campaign telling the real stories of Kiwi men whose lives were saved by belting up.

Sparked by the insight that 90 people die on New Zealand roads every year because they are not wearing their seatbelt, the campaign features real crash survivors and the turns the wounds left behind by the belt into badges of honour.

Giving added meaning to the campaign, all those features are young males as they make up the majority of fatalities on roads. According to the release, it is a tough, no-bullshit audience who see seatbelts as an unnecessary accessory.

“We’re selling an undesirable product to these guys. Research told us they think seatbelt messages are for kids, for the elderly, for everyone else. We worked with them to make the undesirable something they wanted to buy.” says Rachel Prince, NZ Transport Agency principal advisor of advertising.

To find the survivors who would tell their story, NZTA teamed up with Vice to put a call out. The chosen 10 had their injuries recreated and were photographed in their own homes.

The campaign was launched on the survivors’ own social channels supported by outdoor placed in their hometowns.

There are also gallery-style outdoor assets at events that index highly with the audience, and social videos feature the lads telling their stories in their own words, giving insight into what living on meant to each of them.

Clemenger BBDO executive creative director Brigid Alkema believes the visceral and authentic nature of the imagery will connect with Kiwi lads.

“You can’t argue with these stories. They’re real experiences, lived by real people. We hope this truth will move our audience to wear their seatbelt.”

The campaign also lives on a dedicated website, beltedsurvivors.nz. It encourages others to share their stories and from those, the campaign will continue to evolve.


Client: NZ Transport Agency
Creative Agency: Clemenger BBDO
Media Agency: OMD
Photography: Our Production Team
Make-Up SFX: PROFX New Zealand
Retouching: Becci Manson, The Post Office

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