This week, it is time to test our awareness skills with a few simple tests. Click play on the video below to try out the first one:
Yup, it is not immediately obvious how a man dressed up in a furry animal outfit doing a Michael Jackson dance impersonation will help to improve road safety.
But when local government body ‘Transport for London’ wanted to make drivers more conscious of cyclists (and vice versa) on the English capital’s roads, it had little hesitation in making a moonwalking bear the star of its ‘awareness test’ internet video campaign.
Admittedly, it’s not quite moonwalking as the late, great Jacko would have wanted it, but it is pretty memorable – and certainly not initially detectable if you are keeping an eye on the players in white as asked to at the beginning.
“It’s easy to miss something you’re not looking for. Look out for cyclists,” states the video at the end.
The neat campaign was developed by WCRS with Altogether Digital responsible for the seeding and online marketing.
Their target audience was of course drivers and cyclists. Although they seeded the video to online blogs and forums for cycling enthusiasts, many of those who drive or cycle in London don’t participate on such forums.
So they also seeded to more general interest blogs, forums and video-sharing sites with the aim of bringing the message out to a broader audience so it filtered back to the people it most concerned. Clever stuff.
Within a month of the campaign’s launch, the ‘awareness test’ video had garnered nearly 5.5 million views, surpassing the target of 150,000 and it was eventually awarded a Gold Lion at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in the Public Health and Safety category.
There have been a few more Transport for London ‘awareness test’ videos since, with the same goal of promoting driver-cyclist road safety.
There is a Cluedo-style ‘whodunnit’ sketch in which a deceased Lord Smythe is laying supine on the living room of a mansion while a police inspector paces up and down.
Click play on the video below to try it:
The inspector coolly concludes the killer was in fact Smythe’s better half: Lady Smythe’s alibi that she was planting her petunias in the potting shed is deemed bunkum because, as any horticulturalist knows, you don’t plant petunias until May is out.
But did we see the 21 changes that took place from the beginning to the end of the scene?
Indeed, from vases on the tables, pictures on the wall to even the actor playing the corpse on the floor, 21 scene-of-crime details are cunningly changed, in real time, while the inspector makes his deduction.
The behind-the-scenes replay shows how it was all achieved and the tagline is similar as before: “It’s easy to miss something you’re not looking for. On a busy road this could be fatal.”
A third ‘awareness test’ video takes a slightly different direction in that it is not really a test as such, but a slick short film of a bank heist – with a twist.
Click play on the video below to watch it:
After all those Alice-in-Wonderland-isms – a giant security guard, a giant security camera, a giant alarm button, giant bank notes and a giant police car – all of which the robbers see, they fail to catch sight of a normal-sized cyclist in the blind spot while making their getaway, with crunching consequences.
The moral this time: “The more obvious you look for something, the more obvious it becomes. Look out for cyclists.”
And it all goes to show that we see what we expect to see, rather than what is really there.
For more on these videos, please visit www.dothetest.co.uk.