Friday, 20 November 2009


In focus groups that we conducted with young people to discuss road safety, we spoke about the idea that when you are plugged in or on the phone whilst walking you are in your own world. The term used was 'in your own bubble'. Every single respondent understood this phrase. We also found that young people have almost become immune to shocking advertising as a deterrent. We showed a group of 16-18 year olds a shocking poster of a graphic car crash and they found it funny, making pizza and drugs jokes.

So...the big reveal! The concept of our road safety campaign is how pedestrians walk around in 'bubbles' when they are plugged into electronic devices. We want to show this literally e.g. people walking the streets in giant bubbles. We have proved that the concept is easy to grasp and the strap line "How will you burst your bubble?" implies that eventually you will snap out of your own world with perhaps fatal consequences.

Picture an average busy street. The people walking around have bubbles around them if they are distracted walkers (e.g. on the phone, texting, listening to music). Other people are as normal. It's actually quite amusing. Inside each person's bubble you feel what they feel, hear what they hear, it's dreamlike, you hear their thoughts and share their agenda. Coming back out of their bubble you see reality - the busy street. Traffic lights. Car horns. Roadworks. Crossings beeping. A lorry reversing. People chattering. Person in a bubble steps out to cross the road. An oncoming car is about to burst their bubble. It can't stop in time. People stop and stare in horror. Water and liquid explodes everywhere - POP. Foam on the bonnet, water leaking down the drain, close up in front of the dented car on the floor. A huge puddle with nothing...except an ipod in the middle.

What do you think?


  1. Hi Beth...I think you have totally hit the mark with your analysis and young peoples attitudes. I also totally agree that shocking advertising doesn't work, unless the person has had some experience with the subject matter to relate to, as in today's society people find it easier to just brush things off than deal with them.

    I think the 'bubble' concept is very cleaver as it does not just convey the persons total distraction from their environment but also their apparent isolation. The final image of a lone iPod lying in the road surrounded by water is incredibly strong and more likely to invoke thought by younger people as it gives them a reference point to relate to in their own lives making it harder/less likely to be brushed aside and forgotten about.

    I hope my opinion is of some help, if not overly eloquent.

  2. Thanks Hugh, your opinion is very helpful thanks. The idea of isolation is what we were going for so it's good to know it comes across.