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    Friday, May 7, 2010

    Captioned Thoughts - Awareness.. Flyers?

    If you happen to drive by King Road in Jeddah, you're bound to see at least a dozen cars pulled over, guys who have "explaining" hand gestures, and a Police officer with a wide grin on his face..

    Part of the Police's introduction to the new Saher, they're spreading the presence and awareness of such a program in a strange way.. Am not sure how that builds to tell people we're installing video cameras at traffic lights.. Or how installing these very typical traffic cameras (which have been around for a long time in neighboring countries) is worth such a huge campaign.. So am a bit skeptical about this "heads up" approach..

    I actually think they're going to spend allot of money in the awareness campaign, since we're so keen on putting money into "good use".. Until I drove by today..

    The police were handing out published stats of last year's car accidents, and this may be the first police-published official statement on the numbers.. For the none arabic readers, the numbers on the back are as follows:

    • 484,805 Car accidents
    • 6,142 Deaths
    • 34,605 Injuries
    The numbers are terrifying.. With an average of 17 people a day, and it's not a civil war.. And am actually torn in between blaming the police, are not doing their job (up until today maybe), and the drivers who need to be re-educated on the meaning of car driving (since they think they own DeLoreans).. It's a big problem, and it shouldn't be a normal scene to personally come across -at least- 5 accidents a day (2 on a very slow day)..

    But still, for once, there's some sort of official attempt to send out the numbers.. Ok, maybe the graphic designer went a bit overboard with it.. When i saw the blood, i actually thought it was another Palestine campaign, since the artists doing those are big fans of blood dripping posters..

    This is stage one, am really hoping for a televised stage two..

    Going through the posters on the Campaign's website (Saher link above), I was actually impressed.. There seems to be an attempt to make an approach.. Taking local celebrities (in weird -and some horrible- pictures) is actually nice.. I hope they don't just leave it to online posters, and actually go to billboards.. Maybe a some good-directed TV ad is in the works, who knows, to at least follow the lead of the great "Aqim Salatak" campaign..

    We're talking about a completely visual demographic here, and this can really relate..

    But why choose a certain city intersection to hand out these flyers? Does all of jeddah come across the King Road and Globe Roundabout area? I drove all the way to the south, and there was nothing similar to the buzz up north.. Trying to please the prince near by?

    Maybe, who knows.. What i do know is that the numbers did not go viral yet, and the word of mouth isn't really spreading the awareness intended.. BUT, it's one attempt (and apparently the first stage) so am going to keep it to myself until stage two comes out..




    1. I think it's great that some efforts are finally being made to teach people the basics of driving because it's a sad reality when one drives by an accident scene and the first thing that comes to mind is "Oh, it's just ANOTHER accident...moving on."

      Also what you said about the posters covered in dripping blood being overdone (especially when it has something to do with Palestine) is so true, but I guess horror is one of the few ways to get such a simple point across.

    2. It's sad to see us actually going to THAT extreme to deliver a simple logical message, in a very sensation illogical manner..

      I mean, i have my tendencies, but i still think a smart campaign, like those posters, are better than a graphical one.. We are becoming media monkeys, but that doesn't mean we can't try to better the mess we're in..

      Thanks for commenting, a pleasure having you around :)