Drop the Distraction!

Killer Habit PSA

With the proliferation of smartphones, there is new impairment threatening the safety of Colorado’s roads — distracted driving. In 2015, 68 people died in crashes involving Colorado distracted drivers and thousands more were injured, all because people are spending more time lost in their phones and less time focusing on the road. These alarming numbers have steadily increased over the last several years and only represent the reported instances.

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) enlisted CIG to help stem the tide of distracted driving by developing a creative PSA to bring awareness to this quickly growing issue. Data shows that people are increasingly attached to their phones, and in some cases, to the point of addiction. Even more challenging, many drivers are fully aware of the dangers associated with distracted driving and support more stringent enforcement efforts, but continue to drive distracted despite the deadly consequences.

CIG presented the theme of digital addiction as a Killer Habit. Like an addict who can’t stop using, the team worked to tell the story of one relatable man who refused see his phone use while driving as a problem.

In this case, our main subject attends a “distracted drivers anonymous” meeting where he can’t put his phone down throughout the session. We hear the counselor’s voice echoing in his head, urging him to recognize “this is a problem,” but he insists that he’s “got it under control.” Once back driving his car, the last thing he sees is a text from his young daughter before looking up… too late. He slams into another car. A sober reminder that even a “quick text” takes your eyes off the road long enough to lead to disaster.

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CIG was involved in every step of the video production process — from concepting, scripting and selecting talent, to location scouting, vehicle sourcing and post-production support.

Using CDOT’s social channels, posts using the video reached more than 208,767 people.

In addition to the video that was produced for a general market media buy, CIG also developed traffic radio scripts, Pandora audio spots and digital ads.

To make the vision a reality, CIG worked with a local video studio. A gym was staged for the counseling session and filming in a green screen studio allowed for a still car to safely look as if it was crashing. At a late night shoot, water trucks, drones and two Chevy Malibus (one previously totaled) were brought in to create the final look.

Through the digital media buy, the video was viewed 2,559,164 times with a nearly 92 percent completion rate, well above the industry standard of 75 percent. The PSA reached an additional 322,612 people on social media with 6,496 people either reacting, commenting, or sharing the video. Bringing the PSA to the big screen, an additional 201,560 people saw the video during movie theater previews. In the time since, CDOT has been contacted by statewide and regional partners, asking to share the important message and end our growing Killer Habit.