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Business case studies No 188 - 29.09.2017

Using the power of radio as a force for good

This week’s egtabite illustrates the power of radio to influence its listeners behaviour and its ability to be a force for good. We bring you a case that raised awareness of the important issue of safe driving.

The concept

On average radio hosts ask their listeners to use their phone 46 times a day and 80% of Belgians listen to their radio while driving so using radio to influence car drivers’ behaviour is a perfect match. Despite numerous awareness campaigns in all media, people still use their mobile phone while driving. Knowing that using your phone behind the wheel triples your chance of an accident, the organisation Parents of Road Victims asked the Belgian agency Happiness to come up with a more permanent solution than just another awareness campaign. In cooperation with IP Belgium the agency came up with a simple, yet unique solution – the safety jingle. It is a short (7 seconds) audio message radio hosts can play right after they ask listeners to call, text or post. The objective is to remind everybody not to use their phone behind the wheel.

The campaign

A special website was created where the jingle could be downloaded as a finished track or an open source file so radio hosts could also make their own versions.

The campaign kicked off by a touching online video, where the parents of children killed in traffic accidents explained the concept of the safety jingle and asked radio hosts to use it. The video request was then spread online and directly targeted at Belgium’s most favourite radio hosts. Preprogramed tweets and posts allowed the public to activate their favourite radio host to start using the safety jingle. Within hours of the launch the first radio hosts responded on air and even started to encourage each other to use the jingle through short videos.


The campaign also sparked a debate about the use of phones behind the wheel not only on radio, but also on TV and other media. After only three days 95% of all radio stations were using the safety jingle turning it into a permanent tool for radio hosts to help save lives. The campaign won a bronze prize at the Creative Belgium Awards 2017.

Steve Van den Audenaerde, the Director of IP Radio commented on the campaign: “This “pro bono” campaign asking listeners not to use a phone while driving a car, was initiated by one sales house but with the aim of getting all radio stations in Belgium “on board”. From the beginning some competitors joined in and others were pushed to follow. The originality of the concept, using popular DJ’s and “phone-in moments”, lies in its persuasive power to provoke an industry-wide effort. It can be an idea to copy and launch jointly with your competitors.”

This campaign was an external initiative that relied on the power of radio as a fast, reactive, adaptable channel that is able to implement a campaign within minutes. Radio delivered great awareness and managed to drive public debate that highlighted not only the issue itself but also the strength of radio as a communication medium. The change of attitude and behaviour is the ultimate goal of any communication campaign be it social, marketing or political.



» Video about the campaign (click here)
» Parents of road vicims website (click here)


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