Welcome to CO-LAB 2016. We brought together 70 of Queensland’s brightest young minds to tackle the issue of mobile phone distractions when driving. It’s an issue that’s particularly relevant to this age group because young drivers are among the worst offenders when it comes to distractions.
“I do use my mobile phone while driving, it is a bit of a secret shame of mine,” admitted one participant on arrival at CO-LAB.
“Yes I do use my mobile phone in my car sometimes,” said another.
“I think I have used my mobile phone in the car a few times maybe,” confessed another participant.
Guest speaker market researcher Nicola Pringle crunched the numbers for the participants, and explained just how frightening the distracted driver statistics are.
“What we found was 88% of 17 to 24 year olds are using their phones illegally in the car. The majority are at some point in time during a journey,” said Nicola.
Neuroscientist Dr Sarah McKay talked about what happens to our brain when we attempt to focus on more than one task.
“We are just not capable of multitasking effectively, even if we think we can, we can’t teach ourselves how to do it, we can’t practice doing it,” explained Sarah.
Senior creative at BCM, Kate Hunter talked about effective advertising campaigns.
“The things that make a campaign successful are they are engaging, they’re emotional, they’re a mirror to society, they’re a window to the world, they’ve got to be really interesting,” enthused Kate.
The participants were broken into groups and given the afternoon to work on communication campaigns. A team of creative mentors assisted them with their brainstorming.
The participants were energised and excited about the task ahead of them.
“We’re trying to think outside the box,” said one participant.
“We want to go in the direction that it’s a killer habit,” said another.
Then it was time to pitch their ideas to the CO-LAB judging panel made up of experts from the Department of Transport and Main Roads, CARRS-Q, RACQ and BCM.
Members of the judging panel explained what they were looking for in the campaign ideas.
Jane Richards, Executive Director at TMR clarified what she was hoping to see.
“What we really need out of this is a powerful behavioural change message,” said Jane.
Kevin Moreland, Managing Director at creative agency BCM talked about what he was keen to see in the presentations.
“What’s going to really set the winning idea apart is its originality and its capacity to really connect with an audience,” said Kevin.
Joel Tucker, Principal Road Safety Advisor, RACQ was looking for something of interest to young drivers.
“One of the things we’re looking for is a youth angle on driver distraction,” said Joel.
Cassandra Gauld, PhD Student at CARRS-Q shared her thoughts.
“Something that’s eye-catching, something that’s going to grab the attention of the audience,” explained Cassandra
The 15 groups then presented their ideas to the judging panel.
The participants were encouraged to vote for their peers’ presentations using the CO-LAB interactive mobile platform. It was pretty stiff competition, but the People’s Choice award went to Group five.
CO-LAB 2016 produced some amazing ideas and important messages were learnt along the way.
The participants interviewed at the start of the event and admitted they used their phones while driving had all changed their minds by the end of CO-LAB.
“It’s definitely changed my opinion of using my mobile phone while I drive,” said one.
“It’s changed my perception on texting and driving,” said another participant.
“I definitely have changed my mind about using my mobile phone in the car,” agreed another.
It was then up to the expert judging panel to decide on the winning campaign. There were loads of fantastic ideas presented at CO-LAB but after a challenging month of deliberation the judging panel made its decision.
This group that came up with the ‘Chin Up’ campaign idea won CO-LAB2016. The group now has the opportunity to work with BCM to bring the idea to life.
Thank you to all the wonderful participants who made CO-LAB 2016 such a great success.
Keep an eye on the Join the drive website for more opportunities to contribute to road safety.