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DMA: Data and Marketing Association
Consumer Help
best-use-of-data-and-analytics

Meet Graham

Agency: Clemenger BBDO Melbourne    •    Client: Transport Accident Commission Victoria    •    Category: Best use of Data and Analytics    •    Award: Bronze Award

The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) are a social insurer and road safety educator for the state of Victoria, Australia. In the facing of a rising road toll and an apathetic public, they wanted to start a conversation about the human body's vulnerability to the impact forces of a crash. Understanding vulnerability can influence not just one behavior like speeding, but many: the way we drive, the cars we buy, clicking on a seatbelt or not.

Campaign Objective

Vulnerability isn’t a simple message, nor a new one. For years, the TAC has shown the body break in all sorts of crash scenarios. We needed to get away from another crash on a road. We learnt that a pedestrian (unprotected human) has a tolerance of impact forces of up to 30km/hr. That is a speed that our unevolved body can cope with. 200,000 years ago, a human could fall from a tree or collide with a rock face and they would still be okay. Yet the speed of modern technology has far outstripped our ability to evolve with it. Armed with this fact, we believed we could provoke road users to reflect on their vulnerability in a new way. To reflect on how our form would have to be designed to be invincible. We asked ourselves, what would we need to look like to survive a crash on the roads?

Target Audience
Meet Graham, the only person designed to survive on our roads. Part interactive sculpture, part educational tool and ultimately a catalyst for conversation, Graham shows us how humans would need to change to survive a car crash. Over several months a trauma surgeon and a road safety engineer collaborated with a world-renowned artist using decades of road safety data, medical research and creativity to deliver evolution underpinned by evidence. He is a data-visualization of vulnerability.

The Execution

Human vulnerability to trauma isn’t a new message. For decades, the TAC has shown the body bend and break in all types of graphic and impactful crashes on the roads. They’ve profiled hospital wards, ‘bloody idiots’ killing their friends, and drivers learning about how much ‘speed kills’. Yet this ‘crash, cry, die’ approach of communicating is now all too familiar for Victorians to the point of becoming desensitized. We knew we had to move away from shocking people with the same old scenario of ‘a bad driver doing the wrong thing’. Through research, we learnt that a pedestrian (unprotected human) has a tolerance of impact forces of up to 30km/hr (or 17m/hr). A pedestrian that’s struck by a car or truck at forces greater 30km/hr is when the likelihood of death or serious injury begins to climb. At 40km/hr, the likelihood of death is 60%. But we needed something simple and tangible to apply this fact to. And digging deeper, we found that it all came down to evolution. 30km/hr is a speed that running on our own feet can take us up to. Our muscular and skeletal system has evolved to adequately protect itself from any natural or environmental impact forces. 200,000 years ago, a human could fall from a tree or collide with a rock face and they would still be okay. Bruised, battered, but alive. Yet the speed of modern technology has far outstripped our ability to evolve with it. In the 100 years we’ve had cars, we’ve become faster, more mobile, and ultimately more at risk than ever. But our bodies haven’t changed to keep up with it. The unevolved human form simply isn’t designed to survive the forces we face in modern-day mobility. Armed with this insight, we believed we could provoke road users to reflect on their vulnerability in a new way. How would a human form have to be designed to be invincible? To withstand the forces we are regularly exposed to on the road? This could be a concept that every road user could identify with. One devoid of the same old guilt, blame or scare tactics. This thought would allow us to see ourselves for what we’re not, and start a conversation on what else needs change on the road. We asked ourselves: What would we need to look like to survive a crash on the roads?

The Stats

Meet Graham, the only person designed to survive on our roads. Part interactive sculpture, educational tool and ultimately a catalyst for conversation, Graham shows us how humans would need to change to survive a car crash. A trauma surgeon, road safety engineer and world-renowned artist collaborated, using decades of road safety data, medical research and creativity to deliver evolution underpinned by evidence. During the process, key weaknesses in the human body were identified and modified- showing what happens to our bodies in common crash scenarios. In July 2016, Graham was launched at the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne. People were introduced to Graham via digital and real-world experiences, including online film, social and PR. Due to restrictions involved with a sculpture like Graham, it was impossible for us to create an AR experience using technologies that utilised image recognition, markers or NFC. This was coupled with the challenge that Graham would also be touring Victoria. Our solution was an AR experience using Google Tango. By mapping the physical environment Graham occupied we placed virtual information markers on the sculpture, which allowed us to transform a work of art into an immersive AR experience. This approach allowed users to look beneath Grahams skin and examine his physiology. Delving deeper into the experience Tango allowed users to walk around the environment examining Graham from every angle in order to explore more detail. For those who couldn’t meet Graham in person, comms encouraged people to visit www.meetgraham.com.au, which replicated the in-person experience.

The Results

Overnight, ‘Graham’ struck a nerve. He divided people, was met with criticism, but he had started a global conversation about our vulnerability on the roads. ‘Graham’ was seen on every major Australian TV news program, CNN, BBC, and The Guardian. Online publishers as diverse as BuzzFeed to the Smithsonian covered his message. He earned over 2,500 individual broadcast stories with 98.6% positive local coverage (benchmark 67% for road safety campaigns). ‘Graham’ amassed 31 million video views, over 80,000 shares, was reported in over 12 languages and 186 countries ‘met’ him online. This amounted to earned media value of $29m all without a cent spent on traditional media. But the learning experience of ‘Graham’ is where his real success lies. People across the world spent considerable time learning about his design, and in turn, reflecting on their own vulnerability to trauma. To date 287,282 people have visited Graham in the flesh, with an 86% increase in gallery visitation and 1 in 6 people in regional areas having seen the
exhibition. These visitors spent almost 4 minutes interacting with him – more than a Rembrant often experiences. Over 1.9m unique website visitors have seen Graham, spending 2:45m viewing upwards of 5 body parts. Yet the best news of all is that since ‘Graham’ completed his tour in early 2017, the road toll in Victoria has been tracking downwards (16% YTD). While we are not claiming he is solely responsible, ‘Graham’ is helping people learn and re-evaluate the risks they face every day.

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