MOBILITY AND TRANSPORT
European Road Safety Charter
Good Practice

Dutch hiphop music video and App alerts teenagers to dangers of using a smart phone while cycling

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Dutch hiphop music video and App alerts teenagers to dangers of using a smart phone while cycling

Initiative details

01/01/2021 to 30/09/2021
Please describe the main road safety challenges/problems you have addressed or are addressing. 
In 2020, 610 people died in traffic incidents in the Netherlands, half of them being cyclists. In 68% of traffic accidents distraction was the main cause. The usage of the mobile phone is one of the largest 'distractors'. Interpolis has a mission to eliminate traffic accidents by 2050. 77,6 percent of teenagers uses their phone on their bike. Focus groups with teenagers show that they don't realise the danger of using their phone on the bike. Moreover, research shows that they will copy this behavior when they start driving a car so there's a need to change attitude and behavior. So how do you reach teenagers who are addicted to their phone, specifically 14-17 yrs old, as they are the high risk group? And to take it a step further, how can we make them embrace a message about safety rather than reject it? Research by research company TeamAlert, assigned by Interpolis, showed us: - Teenagers (14-17 years old) are not sensitive to facts, especially when they come from 'adult' parties (e.g. insurance companies). - Teenagers are sensitive to stories from their peers. That makes it real. Therefore, YouTube and Instagram are best for safety messaging to reach teenagers - Collaborations with influencers are only effective when it's truly spot on. Teenagers are critical towards collaborations with brands. - To change behavior, it's crucial to also reach parents as conversations between teenagers and their parents is a key driver to change behavior. So, the issue should come to life from within teenagers' culture, especially through YouTube and Instagram. The most embraced culture with teenagers is Dutch hiphop, with artists seen as hero's that they listen to. But it should also touch parents and create a common ground to spark a conversation between them. To reach teenagers and parents, we created an emotional story that's recognizable to both: a first big love with all its thrills. But in this case with a sudden unhappy end, similar to reality that accidents always come out of nowhere with often terrible consequences. The story is told in a music track and a music video by one of the most popular Dutch hiphop artists and influencers, who is able to authentically carry this message. The story is based on real personal stories as research shows that stories from peers of the same age are effective in getting the attention of teenagers. The background stories are covered in a documentary. Finally, we introduce an app to help young cyclists to use their smartphone in a safe way: PhoNo. The previous app by Interpolis for smartphones and car safety, showed users make 20% less damage claims than non-users in the same risk profile. The goal was to spark massive (social) conversations between teenagers about the risks of using their smartphone on their bike. And make sure that they downloaded the PhoNo app to start cycling without distraction. Targets are: 1. Teenagers 14-17 years old and 2. Parents (to discuss the subject with their children).

Project activities

If you work together with external partners, list the most important partners and briefly describe their role. 
1. TeamAlert - research into the target group and part of the concept development of the PhoNo app 2. Wefilm - concept, strategy and production of the musicvideo and mini documentary 3. Snelle, artist, and his music label ROQ'NRolla Music - creating the song and content and delivering it to the target group through their channels. 4. Purpl - development of the PhoNo app.
Please describe the project activities you carried/are carrying out and the time period over which these were implemented. 
Overall: 2019 - Q3 Research the problem and find a good solution in cooperation with youngsters - Q4 Build the solution (PhoNo app) together with youngsters - Q4 Preparation of the introduction of PhoNo 2020 - Q1 Introduction campaign PhoNo and gaining massive reach, a number one hit song in the charts and lots of free publicity. Campaign 2020 'Snelle': We searched for an artist who could tell this serious message authentically. That led us to rising star Snelle. Snelle asked his social following for real stories of accidents caused by smartphones, generating over 500 reactions. We selected 10 teenagers for a round-table discussion with Snelle and our film director. This gave them the inspiration to write the track and script together. We captured the whole process in a mini-documentary. After testing it on Instagram, we launched the music film on Snelle's YouTube channel, the track on Spotify, mini-documentary on the Interpolis YouTube channel, and organized an event where press, fans and industry professionals where invited. Finally, while the issue and artist were hot, Interpolis activated teenagers to try the app and participate in a challenge. The user who rides the most kilometres using the app wins a classroom concert by Snelle. - Q4 Scientific experiment on interventions in schools concerning PhoNo 2021 - Q3 Promoting PhoNo in various situations (Beach Clean up tour SDN/in schools/online activation).
List the actions you carried/are carrying out 
Date 
Thursday, 26 May, 2022

Evaluation

What has been the effect of the activities? 
Campaign results: - After the launch, the music video trended for 4 days as #1 on YouTube with more than 4,7 million organic views. - The mini documentary already had 175.000 organic views in the first week of the campaign. - The music track became a number 1 hit in the Dutch charts after just a few days and became a gold record after 3 weeks (8.4 million streams). Radio DJs not only discussed the track but also spread the message of the campaign and even Interpolis as the initiator. The track ultimately became a double platinum record. - We've had massive media attention in all major Dutch mainstream media like Jinek, Op1, RTL Nieuws, Jeugdjournaal, RTL Boulevard, Radio538, QMusic, Radio1, Puna, Nu.nl, FunX, Nos etc. Within 2 weeks this resulted in a PR-worth of 869.026 euros with a reach of 126.171.394. - The campaign also crossed the Dutch borders and even reached Belgian teenagers, with Belgian broadcasters VRT and KETNET als talking about the campaing, and the track and music video being trending there also. - In the first 3 weeks of the campaign the PhoNo app was already downloaded over 12.000 times. The goal of 10.000 downloads in the first quarter of 2020 was therefor already reached. - Three weeks after the campaign launch research by DVJ Insights showed that half of Dutch teenagers between 14 - 17 states they will not use their phone on their bike anymore. - The top-of-mind brand awareness of Interrpolis also rose from 5% (pre-campaign) t o 11% (3 weeks after campaign launch). This is impressive knowing this target group has never been in contact with Interpolis before, because insurances can only be bought by people 18+. - Eventhough we were in a worldwide pandemic and schools we're closed we've managed to get 28.000 teenagers to download the PhoNo app in 2020. - Effect measurement PhoNo app shows a significant reduction of the number of youngsters that use their phone while cycling (-17%). 44% of the teenagers state they use their phone less. They are enthusiastic about PhoNo.
Please briefly explain why your initiative is a good example of improving road safety. 
1. Reaching a young target group like teenagers is hard. Especially when they don't acknowledge the problem of using their phone while cycling and are not easily willing to accept serious messages/warnings from their parents or governmental parties. Who they are willing to listen to is somebody they love and admire, and want to follow: Dutch hiphop artist Snelle. We searched for an artist who could tell this serious message authentically. That led us to rising star Snelle. Snelle asked his social following for real stories of accidents caused by smartphones, generating over 500 reactions. We selected 10 teenagers for a round-table discussion with Snelle and our film director. This gave them the inspiration to write the track and script together. We captured the whole process in a mini-documentary. After teasing on Instagram, we launched the music film on Snelle's YouTube channel, the track on Spotify, mini-documentary on the Interpolis YouTube channel, and organized an event where press, fans and industry professionals where invited. Finally, while the issue and artist are hot, Interpolis activated teenagers to try the app and participate in a challenge. The users who rides the most kilometres using the app, win a classroom concert by Snelle. 2. Because we as an insurance company witness the material and non-material consequences of accidents up close, we've made it our long term mission to prevent people from unnecessary harm in traffic. Research shows distraction has grown to be the biggest cause of accidents, mainly due to smartphones. Therefore Interpolis really wants to put effort in helping with solutions to prevent people from being distracted and thereby cause less material and non-material harm. In this campaign Interpolis made their commercial goals really secondary to the societal responsibility they feel, to create maximum impact with teenagers (and parents). In the collaboration with artist and influencer Snelle, Interpolis even agreed to leave out their logo at the end, only a redirection to the app. Furthermore, the music artist and filmmaker got almost total creative freedom in their craftsmanship to create the most powerful story that really pulls you in. That trust payed off. 3. Also outstanding is the way we've developed the PhoNo app. We worked together with the target audience instead of thinking for them. We've made them part of the development for example by asking them what would motivate them to use an app like PhoNo. This research showed they really care about the environment (especially plastic in the ocean) so we've integrated this to the app: for every mobile free km with the PhoNo app teenagers save money for the Dutch foundation 'Stichting De Noordzee', a foundation that cleans the Dutch North Sea (beaches) from plastic.
How have you shared information about your project and its results? 
Yes, visit links.