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Think first then dial

Behind the Scenes of Motorcycle Campaign

Created with the help of motorcyclists, SAPOL’s latest motorcycle campaign “Back Off” took months of research and careful planning to come to life earlier this year.

The campaign aims to encourage motorcyclists to reduce speeding on thrill seeking rides before their thrills turn to grief. It primarily targets 20-29 year old male motorcyclists, who were the most implicated in serious injuries involving motorcyclists between 2018 and 2022.

More specifically, it is aimed at riders who like to ride for fun on weekends leading to speeding and dangerous riding.

The campaign was researched thoroughly in one-on-one in-depth interviews with motorcyclists across South Australia to establish what it is that they love about riding.

Richard Blackwell, Manager Media Road Safety Unit at SA Police, said that the goal of the research is a better understanding of what fuels motorcyclists' riding that leads them to death with the end game of trying to save lives.

“It’s no good saying ‘motorcycling is dangerous’ because motorcyclists already know that; it’s part of the appeal. So we’re trying to find different insights that we can use to talk to them in a better way,” said Richard Blackwell.

Motorcyclists spoke of their sense of freedom, their connection to the road and the heightened sensory experience that riding gives them. Rather than argue with that, the campaign reflects the dark side of those feelings.

“Hopefully that will resonate more strongly and we’ve got a better chance of getting them to pull back that little bit so their rides are safer,” Richard Blackwell said.

Riders involved in the market research said they found the idea extremely relatable with a clear message about motorcycle safety and a refreshing, unexpected angle.

It is not unusual for a road safety campaign to take eight to nine months from the first moment of attitudinal research to the moment it gets launched. Most of it falls towards market research, refining ideas, and testing those ideas within the target group before the actual ad can be produced.

Motorcycling remains to the most dangerous form of traditional transport, with crash rates per kilometres travelled being over 20 times that of passenger vehicles.

The new campaign was launched in May this year and will return to market in January 2024. Campaign research shows that it has been seen by an unprecedented 97% of 20-29 year old motorcyclists.

Go behind the scenes of the making of "Back Off" in the video below:

All files of the campaign can be viewed here.