“Ready to Go For a (Safe) Walk?”

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September 29, 2016
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Oregon’s one of the nation’s fittest states for a reason – Oregonians love to exercise! Walking is what we do. But with so many distractions (whether it’s a beautiful neighborhood or a themed bicycle brigade), remembering pedestrian safety can be tough. That’s why we created this :30 TV spot for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), “Well Trained” – to remind Oregonians to pay attention and always cross safely.

And of course, as familiar navigators of Oregon’s neighborhoods, who better to deliver this message than a well-trained (and adorable) dog? Our beloved new pal Walker narrates this spot, reminding humans how to behave at intersections and crosswalks.

walkerthedog

Though we’ve helped ODOT promote transportation safety for years with many great spokespeople, this is the first time we’ve branched out to a new species. And the result was not only adorable – it was a ton of fun to shoot! Despite a few challenges (have you ever tried to make an actor and dog move perfectly in unison?), working with the production team and canine crew, it all came together in what we think will be the first of many fun spots to come. Walker the Dog just might be the next Smokey the Bear. Walker is now making the rounds with local media. Catch him here, on Katu’s AM Northwest morning show.

In our work for ODOT we use ‘sustained publicity’ to communicate key messages across channels year after year. With this spot, we wanted to show positive behavior (nice job, Walker!), and do so in an entertaining way.

Over time, the repetition of these messages helps to change behavior, leading to fewer crashes and more saved lives. Our challenge year to year is to vary the delivery of the messages in a way that keeps it fresh, entertaining and persuasive. Perhaps next year we’ll use a different species from the animal kingdom?

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