The Illinois Department of Transportation has tackled an ambitious campaign to eliminate traffic fatalities and it doesn’t look like any other highway safety campaign I’ve ever seen.
The new Driving Dead Series will feature Michael Rooker from the TV series Walking Dead and “involves a cast of central characters living in a Zombie-filled, post-apocalyptic world,” according to an Illinois DOT new release.
The novel approach to build an online campaign focused on a specific audience of younger adults who, according to research, are more likely to get behind the wheel after drinking or drugging.
“Far too many people still mix alcohol, drugs and driving. Young people, in particular, often don’t understand that impaired driving is a crime, and a serious one — and they also are less likely to buckle up,” said Acting Transportation Secretary Erica Borggren. “These same young people ages 21-34 no longer receive news through traditional means. We’re hopeful this new series will catch their attention and give them a reason to log on or check their mobile devices. When they do, they’ll be entertained — and most importantly, they’ll receive a life-saving message.”
Nationwide, state DOTs and traffic safety and law enforcement organizations are partnering to crack down on impaired driving, especially through the Labor Day weekend. Campaigns like “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” are designed to discourage drivers from jumping behind the wheel after using drugs or alcohol. Over the past decade, these enforcement and education campaigns have been hugely successful in driving down the number of fatalities on the nation’s highways. Yet, more than 30,000 people annually die in vehicle crashes and impaired driving remains one of the most significant factors.
Hopefully innovative and targeted marketing like this will turn the tide in Illinois among this hardest to reach young demographic.
According to Illinois DOT, the “The Driving Dead” series officially kicks-off today, August 25. For more information, visit www.thedrivingdeadseries.com. Or, check out the series and dialogue on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for up-to-date news, behind-the-scenes footage and future episodes of the series.