Das ka Dum with Dr Bhaskar Das | Since a large number of us use cars, do you think advertisers, media and marketers must get together to build awareness on safety

06 Sep,2022

Bhaskar DasThe death of 54-year-old former Tata group boss has sent shockwaves. For, many (or most) amongst us do not wear seat belts when on the rear seat. We asked Dr Bhaskar Das a question on the need to build awareness in the September 6 edition of Das ka Dum. Read on…

 

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Q. Since a large number of us use cars, do you think advertisers, media and marketers must get together to build awareness on safety?

 

A. Every crisis heightens the cacophony of pontifications about an issue, it ebbs till we move to the next one. What would the campaign promote? Drive safely, don’t speed, wear seat belt, etc etc.

 

Behavioural transformation at scale isn’t easy to achieve through a time-bound campaign. I remember when the authorities urged drivers/ co-passengers in the front seat to wear seat belts. It took time for universal adoption. It still differs by state. Then came the threat of punishment in the form of fines. In the new models of various cars, now there is constant beep if one doesn’t wear seat belt.

 

So I feel it needs a combination of efforts to mitigate this disaster: automobile tech should introduce beeping for wearing seat belts in the rear seats, punitive steps for non-compliance, air-bags for the rear seats too. After this, a marketing campaign would work well.

 

By the way, I don’t know if you have seen or not—an impactful and always topical drive safely campaign by FCB has been running at the crossing of Babulnath and Marine Drive for the last 20 years. South Mumbai residents must have seen it too. But has it shifted behaviour? A marketing campaign can’t be a panacea for all.

 

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