Crash survivors share stories on seatbelt importance in NZ government ad

Around 90 people die on New Zealand roads every year because they are not wearing their seatbelt.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has launched a campaign which aims to get young drivers to put on their seatbelts when driving by telling the stories of crash survivors.

According to the NZTA, around 90 people die on New Zealand roads every year because they are not wearing their seatbelt and young males make up the majority of these fatalities.

To idea is to raise awareness about how a seatbelt can be the difference between ending up injured or ending up dead while addressing the misconception that seatbelts are an unnecessary accessory. To do this NZTA worked with Clemenger BBDO to create the Belted Survivor series, which is a collection of portraits of real crash survivors, that aims to turn the distinctive wounds left behind by seatbelts into badges of honour.

The ad features 10 young Kiwi men, including a man named Luke, who woke up from a coma the day before his daughter was born. It claims that If Luke had not been wearing a seatbelt, he would not have woken up at all.

The men were chosen by NZTA, with the help of Vice, after putting out a national call-out seeking real stories from people who survived crashes thanks to their seatbelt. Using their post-crash pictures, these men’s real-life injuries were recreated by Profx, a studio producing designs, special makeup effects, prosthetics and creatures for the screen industry, based on movies like Thor: Ragnarok and The Hobbit trilogy.

The studio worked closely with emergency medicine specialist Dr. Tash McKay, who provided close medical guidance.

The survivors were photographed in their own homes around the country, so they could be in a familiar environment and surrounded by family and friends while reliving their past experiences.

The campaign was then launched by the men themselves over their own social channels, where they retold their stories of how using a seatbelt saved their lives.

“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,” said Rachel Prince, the principal advisor for advertising at NZTA.

“We worked with them to make the undesirable something they wanted to buy.”

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