Capturing the humour of the show to promote road safety


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General information

Sector: Public service

Media: Linear TV

Time period: Autumn 2021

Case description

Road safety is an important social issue for Quebecers and one that fits very well with the public service nature of CBC/Radio-Canada. This context was taken into account when the 2021-2025 Road Safety Strategy was developed by the provincial government. The strategy aimed to encourage a more harmonious use of the road, increase user safety and improve the road safety record, and allow SAAQ, Quebec’s public auto insurance provider, to continue its efforts to be among the jurisdictions with the best results regarding road safety.

The campaign aimed to improve Quebec’s road safety record, reaching drivers aged 18 and over, primarily in the 25-64 range, and to ensure visibility in the programme schedule over several weeks.

The Media Solutions team has been doing content marketing projects with the SAAQ since 2014. After exploring various creative properties and perspectives, they were able to get a fresh start by using the universe of one of their most popular and best-loved series: Discussions avec mes parents [Discussions with my parents].

The commercial was truly an extension of the programme’s universe, incorporating not only characters but writers, sets and shooting locations, and the technical crew from the show. The campaign took the SAAQ out of its traditional television advertising paradigm as very few advertisers use the universe of a drama series to create commercials.

Radio-Canada teams were very involved in ensuring that the client’s themes and the series’ universe were maintained. After developing the idea, the sales team served as the liaison between the client, the Media Solutions production team and the programme’s production team (A Média) to develop ad content based on the abovementioned awareness pillars. The campaign revolved around the following themes: Impaired driving, Sharing the road, Distractions and Fatigue. Each topic was tackled with humour, exaggerating the tone in which parents typically give advice about road safety.

Campaign results

Radio-Canada was able to seamlessly weave road awareness messages into the plot and characters of the show. While it is difficult to assess the precise impact that a commercial can have on road behaviour amongst a population, it appears that the commercial helped attract the target audience’s attention.

Post-campaign results were evaluated by an independent polling firm. The commercials reached 77% of Radio- Canada viewers and 53% of French-speaking adults in Quebec. On average, the commercials were rated 8.2/10 overall (compared to an overall average of 7.6). Respondents indicated the commercials were clear (91%) and attracted attention (84%).

The level of trust established with the client lead them to repeat the experience in Autumn 2022.

Campaign video