The power of the youth demographic has been getting a lot of attention recently, including their ability to move the needle in the outcome of a presidential election and spawn and spearhead political movements, so we’re really excited to be working with NHTSA and Project Yellow Light to give them the opportunity to speak out for a good cause–texting and driving prevention.
I took a Media Studies class in college that jumpstarted my love of advertising, it was so empowering to think that you could create a short video or ad that could reach into the homes and speak to millions of people (which is why I feel so lucky that I get to work on the Ad Council’s phenomenal public service campaigns every day). My college self would have been thrilled to learn about our newest contest—the Project Yellow Light Anti-Distracted Driving Video Contest, which allows high school and college students to create their own videos aimed to curb texting and driving among their friends and peers. The Ad Council will turn the winning video into a nationally distributed PSA and Mazda Motorsports will give the winning students scholarships, a survival skill class and admittance to the Skip Barber Racing School!
The contest, now in its second year, is a great example of peer-to-peer influence for social good. Research has shown that 44% of young adult drivers (16–24) say that friends are the most influential source to encourage them to curb their texting and driving habits. And since 80% of teens and young adults (16-24) say they are “extremely concerned” about their peers texting while driving, this is their chance to do something about it.
The contest is collaboration between the U.S. Department of Transportation, Mazda Motorsports, Project Yellow Light, the Ad Council, and the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) and is open to high school and college students. Submissions will be accepted from October 31, 2012 to April 1, 2013 and the winning videos will be announced during Global Youth Traffic Safety Month in May, 2013. Go here to learn more: http://projectyellowlight.com/.
Check out last year’s winning video, “Be a Friend,” created by Albuquerque senior Katherine Duffy. It is a shocking and moving reminder of the consequences of texting and driving.