State Highway Safety Showcase
High School Distracted Driving Program
Today’s teenagers are tough to reach, with digital video recorders that skip commercials, digital music players that make radio commercials ineffective, and an online environment that is cluttered with advertisements trying to capture their attention.
This past school year, the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety worked with Alliance Sport Marketing to develop a comprehensive high school safety program. The focus of the campaign was distracted driving and the message was: “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All.”
The campaign was designed to utilize sporting events as the platform for reaching a student population and the surrounding community at large.
This campaign goal was to steer the social norm away from distracted driving being a socially acceptable behavior. It helped create a connection with the student athletes and leaders within each school, who then became advocates for the program. This was vital to the success of the program, as these athletes and student leaders are the influencers within their school community, and it provided a peer-to-peer communication that was priceless.
The following elements were used to communicate the message:
- Event Signage: Four vinyl banners with the “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All” messaging were sent to every high school in the state. The banners carried a consistent message across the state and provide exposure to crowds at high school sporting events as well as all other events hosted in these meeting places.
Several schools not only hung signs in the school, but also in areas that were visible on the outside of the school. This has provided fantastic exposure in the community.
- School Sporting Event Display: This element put “feet on the street” across the state during the school year. In addition to the events staffed by Alliance Sport Marketing, each participating school was sent promotional materials for a table display that included a branded table cloth, table top signage, thumb bands, and other promotional materials.
Student leaders in each school set up a table at their sporting events, but many took it one step further by setting up the table in high traffic areas of the school during lunch hours and other busy times of the day when the students would congregate. This was the highlight of the peer-to-peer portion of the campaign.
Approximately 150 high schools were invited to participate in this campaign. The initial goal was for a minimum of 50% of the schools to participate. However, 80% of the schools participated in the program and we were able to reach 89% of our communities on some level.
About Alliance Sport Marketing
Alliance Sport Marketing is an Associate Member of GHSA. They have been managing the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety's sport marketing campaigns for three years and have worked with 13 other state highway safety offices across the country over the past decade.
- Laura Nichols, Media Coordinator
Maine Bureau of Highway Safety