Driver inattention was the leading cause of traffic fatalities in New Jersey. Every driver knows that distracted driving can be deadly, but many think they are the exception—that they can manage their phone, lipstick, or burrito while driving. Lack of awareness wasn’t the issue; it was complacency. This campaign was needed to help prevent more deaths on New Jersey’s roads and highways.
Past distracted driving campaigns that focused on death did not have the desired results, so positive reinforcement was used instead. Rather than scare drivers with images of death, the campaign tried to remind them about the great lives that lay ahead. The creative told multiple stories of lives lived to their fullest because drivers kept their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. This led to 70 million impressions and over 4,000 visits to the campaign’s landing page.
The Painted Wheel was inspired by the largest and most successful international public art event established in 1999, CowParade®*. In this adaptation, steering wheels were “painted” with the hopes, dreams, passions, inspirations, and love that keep New Jersey residents driving.