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Popular emoji icon reveals darker side in distracted driving campaign targeted at Vietnamese youth

11-06-2018

A billboard featuring the campaign’s message installed at a university in Ho Chi Minh City to act as a constant reminder for students on their commute to and from school.

A billboard featuring the campaign’s message installed at a university in Ho Chi Minh City to act as a constant reminder for students on their commute to and from school.

The darker side of the popular emoji icon was revealed to audiences across Vietnam in a newly launched distracted driving campaign targeted at 15 to 29-year-olds. The campaign’s slogan is “Leave your phone alone or you could be next!” and features a sinister, evil emoji character as its key visual. The two associated TV commercials will be broadcast on national and provincial television channels; shown on televisions at target universities and at Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City; incorporated into the communications plans for 63 provincial traffic safety committees; and disseminated through digital channels via an online media campaign. Thirty billboards featuring the campaign’s message will also be installed at 10 target universities as a constant reminder for students on their commute to and from school. AIP Foundation is leading the initiative as part of The UPS Foundation-supported Safety Delivered program and working in close consultation with the National Road Safety Committee, Ministry of Education, and target universities.

The campaign takes the familiar icon of a cute and innocent emoji and turns it into a lethal killer on the road by featuring a malicious emoji that preys on distracted motorcyclists. Through this innovative reimagining of common road situations into horror movie scenarios, the campaign addresses the consequences of unsafe behaviors such as calling, text messaging, and using the Internet. These behaviors cause a driver to become distracted, slow his or her reaction time, and affect his or her ability to make safe driving decisions.

According to baseline surveys of 927 male and female students from seven universities in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, 79% of students reported having used a mobile phone at least once while driving in the past six months. This represents a troubling reality, considering the World Health Organization found that a driver talking on a mobile phone is four times more likely to be involved in a road crash than one who is not.

Read the full press release here.

View more photos from the launch here.

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