To successfully influence decision making, you need to understand what other choices are being considered, what it is that makes them compelling and how the barriers to your own preferred outcome can be lowered.
The Department for Transport (DfT) needed to know why people still choose to use their mobile phones whilst driving, despite the threat of fines and social stigma. This had been at the heart of their previous campaign and the message needed to evolve.
We needed to get the Dft closer to the actual behaviour itself, so we placed cameras on dashboards of drivers and filmed them for a week.
For Dft this was a treasure trove of powerful contextual material, showing the real life circumstances behind dozens of instances of device usage behind the wheel.
We also spoke to the drivers who had been filmed, using the footage to bypass the usual claims and get to a more honest and open conversation.
This helped us get the Dft to a more powerful position: the choice to ‘drive safely’ was being overridden by a powerful sense of social obligation towards the person on the other end of the line.
The solution was to focus on removing the obligation entirely by encouraging drivers to turn their glove compartment into a mobile compartment and put their devices away whilst driving.