Campaign: Safer Travel At Night
Client: Transport for London and Greater London Authority - Mayor's
Principal author: Emily James, TBWA\London
With contributions from: Suzie Shaw, TBWA\London; Anni Marjoram, Greater
London Authority; Harry Barlow, Greater London Authority
Media used: TV, print, cinema, outdoor, ambient
This is a refreshing case of advertising truly serving to change people's lives for the better. But the people it has helped don't even know it, because this campaign was about crime prevention.
There are an estimated 10,000 illegal mini-cabs or "touts" in London.
Hiding among this group are an unknown number of serial rapists and opportunist sex attackers looking for an easy way to lure vulnerable women into their cars. In the year to October 2002, more than 200 rapes and sexual assaults on women were committed by illegal minicab touts.
The "Know what you're getting into?" campaign helped change women's attitudes and, more importantly, behaviour in late-night situations. It was the catalyst within the broader Safer Travel at Night initiative, preventing up to 85 mini-cab-related rapes and sexual assaults. While the true impact of this campaign is hard to measure, the financial saving to public services alone exceeded £11 million.
The judges' view
This sensitively written case shows how an insightful approach led to a 22 per cent reduction in rapes in London, with 85 fewer attacks taking place. By advising girls to "know what they were getting into" when using mini-cabs at night, the ads succeeded in changing their attitudes and behaviour towards mini-cabs. These behavioural shifts took place at a time when people are at their least rational - after a night out, when they want to get home.
The idea extended beyond conventional media into "point of prey" media such as clubs and bars. This case shows that even on a small budget it is possible to measure effects thoroughly, and for this reason was awarded Best Small Budget.