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Campaign: Helmet-wearing awareness campaign

Helmet-wearing awareness campaign

WPP companies: Ogilvy & Mather, Ogilvy PR Worldwide and OgilvyOne, Vietnam

There are more than 21 million motorbikes on the roads of Vietnam. More than 11,136 people died each year in motorbike accidents between 2002 and 2006. Tragically, most of these deaths could have been avoided if the riders had been wearing helmets.

Ogilvy created a pro bono advertising campaign for the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation to encourage motorbike riders to wear helmets. The campaign was worth between half and one million dollars.

The ads contrasted images of the devastating effects of not wearing a helmet with superficial excuses commonly used like “wearing a helmet makes me look stupid” or “my parents don’t wear a helmet so why do I have to wear one”. The campaign included television, print, postcard, radio and internet ads.

Within four months of the launch of the campaign the proportion of people wearing helmets in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City almost doubled, from 10.8% to 19.1%. The percentage of motorcyclists wearing helmets when driving out of the cities increased by 15.7% to 77%.

Even more significantly, the campaign also helped to influence legislation. The Vietnamese government decided to bring forward the introduction of legislation making helmets mandatory to December 2007, ahead of the planned launch date in 2008.