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This week, System1 Agency released a powerful 90 sec film to help change people’s attitudes and behaviors around texting and driving.

Texting while driving is a global issue that injures thousands of people and needlessly takes many innocent lives. In fact, the National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes in the U.S. each year. We at System1 wanted to directly help reduce that by using our knowledge of and expertise in behavioral science to create an emotional story that will change attitudes and behaviors.

People we respond more quickly and intuitively to emotions rather than rational thinking, so we set out to tell a story that everyone, universally and globally, can relate to: Love.

No one likes to be told what to do either, so our team aimed to treat the audience intelligently by empowering them to make their own choices as a result of watching the short film.

Through a partnership with Unit 9 directors, A Common Future, we created an emotional story of young love tragically and needlessly cut short due to texting (distracted) driving. Everyone relates to love. Everyone can relate to being distracted by their phone, especially receiving texts while driving, or when you are in a hurry. And in today’s world, when are we not in a hurry! 

The film focuses on a pivotal moment in their relationship, where long-term commitments are possibly about to be made, when the viewer is robbed of what happens next. The film finishes by simply stating  “There’s No Next if you Text”, a catch phrase that has the potential to be remembered and become a distinctive asset for the campaign, or (with repeated use) a Fluent Device. Saying “What happened next” is in the common vernacular, which also aids in the effectiveness of this potential Fluent Device. 

At System1 Agency, all creative is quantitatively tested for its ability to elicit emotion so as to predict performance in market on a 1-to-5 star scale, as well as to provide diagnostics for clear directions for improvement. “There’s No Next if you Text” scored 5 stars, and System1 are confident the film will make a real difference.

Paul Spriggs is the President Americas, System1Agency. To find out more about the PSA or the System1 Agency, get in touch!

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