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BlindMeters

Parents of Road Victims

Issue 49 | December 2018

Agency

Happiness

Creative Team

Creative Directors Geoffrey Hantson, Katrien Bottez Art Directors Roxane Schneider, Dries Lauwers Copywriter Pieter Claeys

Production Team

Christopher Ross-Kellam, Edgar Dubrovsky, Thomas Colliers, Peter Baert, Jeroen Berx, Efrosini Sparoudis, Bart Vande Maele, Sophie Gunsbourg, Simon Schuurman, Matthias Vandenbosch

Other Credits

Hans Smets, Tine Van Hasselt, Remke Faber, Edouard Schneider

Date

September 2018

Background

Texting and driving is dangerous. There have been innumerable campaigns to try to get people to stop doing it.

The challenge was to come up with an idea that really would change behaviours.

Idea

Blindmeters.com was a radically different take on the problem.

The site combines data from different map sources to allow visitors to render text along roads on top of satellite imagery. Google maps becomes a text editor and allows visitors to type on any road. A custom-designed font then connects to the speed limits of the road and stretches for the precise distance the driver would cover while driving blind and texting that particular message.

The results are shocking. ‘Almost home’ is ten characters. Or 289 metres. ‘On my way’. Seven characters but 236 metres. And these are just the shorter sort of messages people frequently text while at the wheel.

Longer messages can stretch for a kilometer. One second can be enough for a major accident.

Results

People engaged, massively. Over 5 million blindmeters were typed on Blindmeters.com within 24 hours. Literally the entire National Press joined the conversation. Blindmeters.com initiated in Belgium but is spreading to other European countries.

Our Thoughts

This is a tremendous advertising idea, to take the amount of time it takes to write a text and then turn that into distance covered in a speeding car. It is also an idea that works even more brilliantly online and for me that’s what makes this one of my top picks in this issue. Many agencies would have turned their idea into posters and press ads and would have left it at that. But not Happiness.

Remember the Confucius cliché: Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.

By making people participants in the idea they may very well succeed where so many others have failed and get people to keep both hands on the steering wheel throughout their journeys.

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