Friday, June 09, 2006

Expertise Day at the HU FCJ (2)

A presentation by a students’ project group surprised me. I had the idea that students of this school on Digital Communication were a kind of nerds or freaks. This group presented a project in which they used internet as a marketing research tool. The objective of their project was to develop a gesture which you can use in traffic, when something goes wrong unintentionally. So instead of getting a middle finger gesture, the wrong-doer would be able to say sorry with a generally accepted gesture. In the meantime the project is taken seriously by the Dutch traffic safety organisation 3VO and might be sponsored by an insurance company.

The campaign to be developed is intended for a target group of 16 to 25 years old people. A sorry gesture is to diminish the aggression in traffic, promote respect, advertise tolerant behaviour and break through the anonymity.

The project developed four gestures and put these up on internet for a vote. In order to solicit reactions publicity was sought and they got it. Newspapers, radio and television used it as a news item. And many people (more than three zeros) took part in the poll, which is still open. The open hand gesture is favourite, I can disclose.

Now the project group is negotiating the start of a cross media campaign. They like to create a buzz, amongst others online, but of course also in traffic courses. They offer ideas for promotion materials such as stickers. As expected, they look for mood segmentation and hope for radio programs to create a de-stress situation. But of course their ideal is to have the sorry gesture on every billboard along the highways.

Readers of this posting still can participate in the vote. They will have to pretend that they read Dutch. They should go to the site and tick the blue prompt. Then they are confronted with three questions: about gender (Man = Male; Vrouw = Female), about age and about the favourite gesture (Open hand, circle, bow and tap on the head). Having filled out the questionnaire you can tick on the grey prompt with Antwoord versturen to submit your response. If this is to complicated, send your reaction by e-mail to me and I will forward it.

I enjoyed hearing about this project. Not that I am really interested in traffic matters. But what I saw I enjoyed. Here were students educated in digital communication, who use internet to research, but are also versatile in creating a cross-media approach for the marketing campaign. I certainly hope that the insurance company they are talking to is willing to support the campaign.


Blog Posting Number: 403

No comments: