It’s funny how over a century after the world’s first car ride, we are still being told to wear a seatbelt. But therein I think lies the problem- when people are constantly pressured to do something, typically by some distant and impersonal transport authority, there is a likelihood that they may do the reverse and not click that seat buckle in. This is why I like this advert – there is no gore, horrendous slow-motion crash scenes or even a strip of synthetic material in sight, instead the advert takes a different route – “embrace life”. Thus, rather than scaremongering viewers with the crash scenario (result: “that so won’t happen to me”), viewers are able to emphasise with the happy family life, a life in risk where a seat belt is not worn.
Like the latest John Lewis advert, this advert presses all those emotional buttons – the girl’s expression, as she musters what is about to happen to her father, deserving of an advertising Oscar; while the human seat-belt at the end is a genius way of portraying the holistic unity and security that the seat belt represents, holding together a family and a life. I also like the low-cost but beautifully-crafted nature of this advert, which bar the undeniable perfection of this family (try keeping up with these Jones… ), suggests that this could happen to anyone. The advert therefore avoids stereotyping the non-alert driver in the dodgy-looking car, crashing into that Mercedes coming out of a sideroad. The fact that there is no car at all helps the advert give off a “be sensible” message just generally, a feeling that is excacerbated by all that family love and care (forgive the cheesiness).
Embrace Life has exploded globally following its release onto YouTube in January 2010… now has over 11.5 million views on YouTube it is ranked as the most viewed and highest rated educational YouTube film of all time and has also gone on to win the Gold medal at the New York International Advertising Awards, the Bronze award at the Cannes Lions, Highly Commended from the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation, was featured in the 2010 APA Collection and is presently short listed for the YouTube advert of the year.
Recognition well earned – now with the ultimate sign of success, its own Wikipedia page!