DOE Road Safety "Classroom" (2014) :60 (Ireland)

This ad for road safety/anti-speeding is only aired after 9pm, because of its shocking conclusion. It starts out as an innocent fly on the wall in a classroom full of lovely little kids, and then follows them out on a class trip. There's a little boy with a blue car who serves as an editing arch to the young man who drives too fast in a blue car. The young an eventually speeds over the little kids.

Cue a thousand shocked viewers, many complaints and som extra eyeballs on the ad in the form of reports about the shocking ad in Metro, The Belfast Telegraph and Adweek. Quoteth Adweek:

The DOE says it used such brutal imagery because it believes the fear of killing kids will influence at least some folks to stop speeding. "The aim of this campaign is to challenge and dispel, once and for all, through this emotional and uncomfortable message, the false perceptions that many road users have as to the truly horrifying consequences of speeding," says road safety minister Mark Durkan. "People are losing their lives long before they have the chance to fulfill their potential. Families are being destroyed forever."

While I'm not so sure that the naturally narcissistic youth will think about consequences beyond themselves, the DOE firmly believes that the fear of killing a child will make people slow down. It'll certainly get parents attention, and this ad is not safe for new moms to watch, as this sort of imagery is part of our hormonal nightmares and even the sight of an abandoned baby shoe can make us weep. Shock tactics may "just" be a storytelling device in this ad, but to anyone who has ever been in an accident or lost someone to an accident its a trigger. While the ad doesn't have as much blood and gore as many PSA's in the genre do, it's quite jarring. As for effective? The jury is still out.

Ad agency: LyleBailie International

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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Sophie Kent's picture

Now I'll never go on school trips ever
RIP Kids :'(

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