Meet Graham

Transport Accident Commission

Issue 41 | December 2016



Clemenger BBDO Melbourne

Creative Team

Creative Chairman James McGrath Executive Creative Director Ant Keogh Creative Directors Stephen de Wolf, Evan Roberts Copywriter Tom McQueen Art Director George McQueen Designer Patricia Piccinini

Production Team

Agency Executive Producer (Print) Nicholas Short Agency Executive Producer (TV) Sonia von Bibra Agency Executive Producer (Digital) Allan Ngo Experiential Augmented Reality Airbag Productions Production Company Flare Activation Agency Traffik Group Account Director Naomi Gorringe Account Director Kate Joiner Senior Planner Matt Pearce PR Lead Nichola Patterson

Other Credits

Senior Manager, Road Safety Sam Cockfield Project Manager, Marketing Cherie McMahon Acting Manager, Road Safety Samantha Buckis Online Communications Manager Sarah Mundine Marketing Coordinator Jessica McGlinchey Project Manager, Online Bruce Honey


July 2016


TAC, the government-owned road safety authority for the state of Victoria, launched a new 'Safe System' strategy. It was a departure from 'crash, cry, die' and the beginning of new attempts to change behaviours.

What TAC wanted to do was start a conversation about how vulnerable the human body is to impacts and how it needs to be protected by safe speeds, safe vehicles, safe roads and safe behavior.

The challenge was to get through to an audience that was largely apathetic about road safety despite the rising death toll.


To find a surprising way to remind people how vulnerable they are, avoiding the clichés of the slo-mo crash and shattering glass, the insight was to think about human evolution.

People do not survive crashes because the human form has not evolved to be able to deal with high-speed impacts. So what would it look like if it had evolved?

The answer was 'Graham'.

Part sculpture, part science experiment, he was designed by artist Patricia Piccinini with the input of a trauma surgeon and a bio-mechanist.

His was first revealed at a PR event at the State Library of Victoria, where for two weeks he could be viewed in augmented reality thanks to a first-in-Australia use of Google Tango.

An interactive website (meetgraham. was launched to allow people to explore his body, along with video content as to why he was designed with a thick skull and with many 'nipples'.

This site provided educational resources for schools and students, along with a list of the seven locations across Victoria he would be displayed in the flesh.

Further video content was seeded to publishers, influential media partners and special interest blogs.


After 'Graham' was revealed on July 21st, his strange face, body and pose quickly became a leading news topic across Australia and the world generating over 1,000+ broadcast and print stories and hundreds of millions of impressions.

He was viewed, shared, memed and parodied and his message about vulnerability was heard by millions.

Two million unique visitors spent over 3 minutes exploring and learning from 'Graham' on the website without any media spend.

He become a popular attraction in regional areas around Victoria where visitors to the installation included students, young drivers and risk-takers. As a global mascot of road safety, 'Graham' began to become hard-wired into people's memories each time they got behind the wheel.

Our Thoughts

The late and much loved Ray Barrett won a Silver at D&AD about 25 years ago with a campaign that showed how human beings would evolve if they continued smoking. (No ears because Homo sapiens had learned not to listen).

This is similar but different. Different in that the idea has been made real through putting 'Graham' on show around the country, through AR and by turning him into an experience. As I wrote on page 2, advertising is no longer about brands telling their stories, which is what Ray did for the Department of Health, but about creating ideas that get people to tell stories to each other. That's what 'Graham' does and does brilliantly. Gets people talking, thinking and, y'know what? Maybe even changing their behaviours.


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