Blindmeters – Road safety campaign uses Google Maps to illustrate how many meters you miss when you text and drive

You miss a lot when you text behind the wheel. But how much exactly? Well, now you can just see for yourself: turns Google maps into a text editor and allows you to type on any road. A specially designed font connects with speed limitations of the road you are typing on and stretches to the exact amount of meters you are driving blind.

The results are eye-opening: One character at 90km/h makes you miss 19,75 meters. That makes 26,33 meters at 120km/h. Needless to say, your text messages are longer than you think: ‘Almost Home’ is 10 characters, but 289 meters as well. ‘On my way’, 7 characters, but 236 meters. And these are just the shorter kind of messages people keep texting behind the wheel. Longer messages are quickly reaching 1 kilometer. Stunning, keeping in mind that 1 fraction of a second of inattentiveness can have serious consequences.

A new take on road safety campaign: Driving blind. – Blindmeters

Texting and driving are dangerous. We’ve all heard it before in numerous road safety PSA campaigns. We still do it, though. Because ‘it’s just a quick text message’, just a ‘little post on Facebook or Snapchat, or Whats app, or whatever… ‘. But, honestly, does it even exist, ‘a quick text message?’ Because when you send text messages behind the wheel, you are driving blind.

Geoffrey Hantson, CCO of Happiness Brussels, an FCB Alliance, said: “In order to change that behavior we wanted to literally let people experience how many meters they are actually driving blind. Because even though most people know, nobody really realizes how many meters they are really missing.”

Data, data, data
This campaign connects different databases, layered on one website. Thomas Coliers, head of technology added: “The website combines data from different map sources which allows us to render text along roads on top of satellite imagery. One source is used as the primary visual layer for the map, another source allows us to use the geometry data of the roads, together with speed limits and other important data to be able to “write” on these roads. The font on the website is custom-made for the purpose of being able to dynamically stretch.”

Covered in the whole of Europe

The campaign was created by the duo of Happiness Brussels and OVK/PEVR (Parents of Road Victims), who took home Bronze at this summer’s Cannes Lions for their “Behind the Numbers” radio spot. The platform is supported by a fully integrated media campaign, with a television and cinema commercial, and social films of people walking the distance of their last text message. The campaign initiated in Belgium and will spread amongst different European countries.

Credit list:
Campaign: Blindmeters
Client: OVK – Ouders van Verongelukte Kinderen
Contacts: Koen van Wonterghem, Ellen Ruys
Agency: Happiness Brussels
Executive Creative Management: Karen Corrigan CD: Geoffrey Hantson
Creative Coach: Katrien Bottez
Creation: Roxane Schneider, Pieter Claeys
Group Account Director: Hans Smets
Account manager: Tine Van Hasselt
Design: Dries Lauwers
Typographer: Edouard Schneider – Edsnor
Agency Producer: Bart Vande Maele, Sophie Gunsbourg Digital Production : Bliss Entertainment
Digital Producer: Kris Van Wallendael
Head of Technology: Thomas Colliers
Sound Production Company : Raygun
Composer: Peter Baert
Film Production : Latcho Drom
Producers: Jeroen Berx, Efrosini Spanoudis
Director: Christopher Ross-Kellam
DOP: Edgar Dubrovskiy
Grading: Moxy
Head of motion : Remke Faber
Editor Social film: Simon Schuurman, Matthias Vandenbosch

This Campaign is about:
Google maps, Technology, Tech, Innovative campaigns, Brand Innovations, Blindmeters, Happiness Brussels, Digital innovations, Road safety campaign, Driving, Facebook, Snapchat, Media campaign, Radio Campaign

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