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QR Code Drives PSA Campaign

The QR code has become a popular choice of late, and it was instrumental to the success of a recent campaign from the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) aimed at trying to get people to stop texting while driving.

To keep drivers’ hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road, MDX embarked on a national awareness campaign that would communicate the true danger of texting while driving and try to increase awareness enough to create a law banning texting and driving. Instead of taking the gory, shocking route, MDX chose to connect emotionally with drivers, showing the damage that can be done to those left behind.

MDX teamed up with Ronin Advertising Group to produce a short film entitled The Last Word, which is about the aftermath for families of victims of texting while driving. Ronin also developed a comprehensive communications strategy, including extensive social media outreach, the creation of industry partnerships and a consistent presence at local and national events.

One unique component of the campaign was the use of T-shirts with QR codes to get the message out. When scanned with a smartphone, the QR code brought a user directly to the film/website. In all, 10,000 T-shirts were distributed at key events, including the Miami-Dade College graduation, as a gift to all new graduates in a bag labeled “this bag will save your life.”

The students received the shirt and gift bag after they signed a pledge to not text and drive, with a branded mini Sharpie keychain that they were also able to keep as a reminder. “We created the shirts because we wanted the students to watch the film and pass it on to their family and friends, but knew that the venue where we would have the most access to them was not necessarily the best one for them to interact with the film,” says Karen Ableman, president of Ronin Advertising Group.

Ableman recognized that the audience was interested in and familiar with new technology. “We provided them with a piece that they could keep and easily scan at any time and be taken directly to The Last Word, which they could watch on their mobile device – a particularly poignant way of receiving the message, considering it is about texting and driving,” she says.

In addition to T-shirts, Ronin developed a postcard with a QR code that was launched at the Miami Corporate Run in order to continue the buzz and further convey the message.

To date, there have been more than 30,000 views of the film on YouTube. There has been extensive media coverage of the campaign, as well as a highly active Facebook page and positive feedback from other companies and individuals looking to join in supporting the cause.

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