Perhaps one of the biggest failures that we have as a species is that we often can’t see the potential negative results of something until they’re right in front of us. Although we have the power to make assumptions about the scenario in big cases, for little things like going over the speed limit, our actions are often subconscious and driven by outside factors. To combat speeding in Antwerp, Belgium the city has teamed up with Duval Guillaume to bring drivers the Selfie Speeding Sign.
Selfie Signs For Antwerp
The Selfie Speeding Signs campaign ran in Antwerp and used existing technology that has been in place on roads for some time. In the old system, a driver would be presented with a smiley face emoticon when they were going at the correct speed, and an unhappy face emoticon when they were going to fast. This campaign wanted to mix things up a little, so it encouraged local residents to upload a happy face and a disappointed face selfie online to be put on the machines. The machines matched the location of the uploader with a sign, ensuring that the faces were of local community members.
Personal Engagement Is Best
The best thing about this campaign is that they’ve clicked on to the realities of 21st century advertising: personal is best. By making their campaign person, the city of Antwerp and Duval Guillaume is able to make a simple concept much more powerful. The faces on the signs are the faces of real people, who live in the area and may be potentially at risk from the unnecessary speeding of drivers. This aspect means the campaign isn’t just personal, its powerful. When drivers see those faces, they aren’t soulless emoticons anymore, they’re real and human.
Another noteworthy aspect of this campaign is that it has managed not just to inform drivers, but also to inform citizens. Those citizens that participate in uploading two selfies are a part of the campaign, which means that it is meaningful to them. This makes them potential advocates to the cause who talk about it with their friends in both online and offline worlds, encouraging them to get involved and reminding them about the hazards that speeding can bring.
The acceptance of our communities has a greater impact than most people might imagine, and is a powerful motivator of our behaviors. One thing that the Selfie Speeding Sign has effectively done, which is both related to its personal nature and the way it involved community, is that it encourages a sense of responsibility. Drivers can see the faces of the people in their community being disappointed every time they speed, and they know as drivers it is their responsibility to address that.
Of course, with a campaign that involves something like driving and speeding there are always issues with distraction. Simply having an emoticon was an easy way to inform people of right and wrong, allowing meaning to be clear in a single, simple glance. Although the campaign is certainly an innovative one, we have to question whether having those faces staring at drivers from the signs is really helping their focus, or hindering it.