Road Safety Video ‘Embrace Life’ Wins An Award

June 25, 2010

In an age where might is right, loudness is king and money doesn’t just talk, but screams, it’s nice to know that sometimes being smaller, quieter and softer can reap rewards. A road safety commercial, made by the Sussex Road Safety Partnership in the UK for the grand sum of – read it, ladies and gentlemen – £47,000, won a Gold World Medal at the New York Festival International Advertising Awards. It beat 120 other commercials from such large companies as Nike, VW and Chanel. It also happens to have 10 million hits on YouTube and counting.

This 90-second feature set in slow motion to piano music shows a father in his living room acting out a car crash. His wife and daughter run to him and use their arms to hold him like a human seatbelt to save him.

A still from 'Embrace Life' road safety commercial

It has touched a nerve with many people, moving some to tears. It has also made people think seriously about buckling up, more so than the usual hard hitting ‘no seatbelt, certain death’ approach, which is how we usually do it here in the UK. The emphasis was on positive messaging and imagery. Using the family to drive home the message was going to affect almost everyone, because almost all of us have family in one form or another. According to the Metro, The UN and the US military(?) plan to buy the ad and use it to help train recruits. It’s a (low budget) gift that just keeps on giving.

Here’s the commercial. This is why it won the award.



  1. Thanks for posting this, Pie, I hadn’t seen it or heard about it (have just got back from Mars). It’s a great ad – except, just to nitpick, for the very beginning; his smile looks very false at that point.x

    • It does, Deborah, and there are some other cheesy moments in the ad, not least the music. However, I chose, just this once, to resist my cynical default and take it for what it is. I was then able to appreciate the crafting of it and the thought behind it.

      • And don’t you think he looks a bit like the Brit actor Paddy Considine?

  2. …yes, now you come to mention it. Considine could probably act smiling better.x

    • He could do anything better. Just to go off topic for a moment, have you seen him in the film ‘Dead Man’s Shoes?’ his performance was peerless.

      • …No, I haven’t. I’ll look out for it. Thanks.x

  3. That is kind of touching. Thanks for posting this. I love the way they shot the moment of impact. Very moving!

    • The moment of impact is definitely the best bit.

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