Telecoms firm talks to 7DAYS about its new road safety campaign
elecoms provider Etisalat has produced a road safety video urging drivers not to use their mobile phones at the wheel. The video, entitled ‘Drive with a smile’ illustrates some of the dangers of being distracted while driving, with a woman reversing into a flower stall while she takes a selfie while another driver nearly has a headon collision while messaging.
Here, Fares Hamad Fares, Vice President, Corporate Communications at Etisalat, talks about the project and why the firm decided to take a stand on the issue.
QWhat A Mobility has impacted us all; we are more connected today than ever before, not to mention highly engaged with everyone and everything around us 24x7.
While it has its many pluses, an overdependence on our mobile phones has rendered this beneficial technology as an extension of our beings, regardless of our surroundings and sometimes at our own peril. One such safety hazard is using the phone while driving. Near misses, minor accidents and disrupting traffic are a few repercussions of which we may be aware but choose to ignore every now and then.
Our Drive with a Smile campaign is an effort to create this awareness in a manner that best resonates with everyone. It demonstrates everyday scenarios that one encounters, and laughs off. We wanted to let the audience see these scenarios, smile at the absurdity and familiarity of these actions. We then interrupted the action with a life or death scenario that snaps you out of the trance, and hammers home the point that your life is no joking matter. Using your mobile while driving is truly nothing to smile about.
QWhy A Etisalat actively lends support as well as creates awareness around many social issues that concern us as citizens and residents of this country. Using mobile phones while driving is one such issue that has been rampant for quite some time and continues to plague us, and we believe that any time is the right time to urge people to avoid distracted driving and discourage using the mobile phone while driving.
Q A The response to the video on social media and the viewership are indicators our effort is well received, which we are happy about.
The viewership has reached over a million views, which validates the growing relevance and public interest on this subject. We believe and hope that our approach will positively shift attitudes and change behaviour of many, if not all.
A The well-being and safety of our customers in general concerns us - whether it is about people adopting healthy lifestyles or avoiding distractions while driving such as mobile phones.
To that end, we hope that our road safety messages reaches as many people as possible, and more importantly aids the effort of the authorities and other organisations who are working towards bringing about a positive change in driving habits.
A Drive with a smile and don’t use your mobile!
Your safety, your family’s well-being and that of others is much more important and precious than a phone call, text message or selfie.
DANGER! Some of the scenarios that are featured in the video caused by not concentrating
SAFETY FIRST: The dangers of driving while using a mobile phone are in the spotlight
CAMPAIGNING: Fares Hamad Fares, from Etisalat