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N/A | National Safety adverts - who are they really aimed at?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by TonyE, May 1, 2012.

  1. TheLuke posted a new thread here about the new TAC advert.

    While it was closed down (reasonably) because there was already a thread about the new advert, I believe that it's a topic that deserves its own thread because of the wider implications.

    It's certainly something that I've mentioned before. Quoting (again) from the Ulysses submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry:

    The TAC has put a lot of time and money into producing safety advertisements aimed ostensibly at motorcyclists. With the exception of the “Put Yourself in Their Shoes” advert and the levy funded “Look and Look Again”, these advertisements (especially the shock/horror advertisements around protective clothing) are generally considered by motorcyclists to have been more aimed at deterring those wishing to take up riding than genuinely trying to improve rider safety

    What do people think?

    Victorians may remember the protective clothing adverts of a couple of years back that were aimed at scooter riders. The ones showing lots of lost skin and blood.

    While sales of protective clothing did rise slightly for a short time, scooter sales also dropped. I agree with Luke's comments that many motorcycle "safety" advertisements are not primarily aimed at riders. They are aimed at family and friends in an effort to "reduce exposure" by deterring new riders.

    Certainly recommendations for the tightening of licensing regulations has had this as an undelying agenda. Having to obtain a car licence first and changes in age limits are classic instances and were specifically recommended by a MUARC study some years ago.

    Narelle Haworth & Christine Mulvihill
    June, 2005
    MUARC Report No. 240

    In terms of best practice in training:
    •Compulsory training appears better than voluntary (possibly because of reductions in exposure rather than risk reduction)
    •There is no real evidence of particular programs or components leading to
    reductions in crash risk
    •An increased emphasis on roadcraft (without reducing the time spent on vehicle control skills) appears to be necessary at both the learner and licence levels
    Longer or more costly compulsory programs might also be expected to lead to larger reductions in riding
    • Like Like x 2
  2. I'll put my 2c in.

    The message from the latest campaign is basically if you go a bit faster, your stopping distance will be a bit longer and if something happens to come into that distance you wouldn't crash if you were going slower.

    Now the massive question is


    I don't know much about marketing, but this to me seems to be an entirely stupid waste of money. It is like making an ad for fabric softner aimed at people that work in accounting. Sure accountants use fabric softner but there is a much bigger market out there and a generalized ad would be better.

    So why target motorcycles? Well I guess your hunch about detering people from riding is correct and they don't want to give the message that riding a bike can be safe if you follow a bit of common sense.
  3. Going by the new rider threads on here, alone,

    Their stupid Demonizing of motor cycles is definately not working,

    The more people that ride bikes, The more the Smidsy will diminish,

    More people riding, means more people looking out for bikes, Its all good,

    Every one will be looking to see if they know that rider going past, Family or friends, Etc,
  4. Shock advertising (graphic depictions of accidents, diseased lungs from smoking) are generally considered to be largely ineffective - people tend to reject the negative overtones and disregard the ad's message as being not relevant for them.

    I don't necessarily agree that TAC's goal is to prevent people from taking up motorcycling, dunno if they are really that smart. It would probably confirm to non-riders who see motorcycling as incredibly dangerous that they are right though.

    I did find this 1998 study from Curtin Uni about the effectiveness of traffic advertising campaigns.

    http://cbrcc.curtin.edu.au/reports_journal_articles/aap 31 243-252.pdf
  5. has zero effect on anyone who knows how to ride a motorcycle, for obvious reasons.
    cannot put oneself in the riders seat without noticing how easy it would have been to avoid the crash at a piddly 68kph.
    it's an R1 ffs. brakes the size of family pizzas.
    you see the car pulling out from waaay back. too easy.
    come on. late model black honda, tinted windows, up ahead. ima think he's definately going to pull out.

    therefore, ad is certainly not aimed at riders.
  6. Thanks for the acknowledgement @TonyE.

    I find it interesting how an 'intervention' like that ad can be successful in a statistical sense - it very well might reduce motorcycle accident incidents through taking people off the road, all the while failing motorcyclists themselves, since more motorcyclists means more visibility and awareness which means less risk on average.
  7. of course thats the idea!

    the people who work at TAC etc, are the people whoes parents wouldnt let them ride and were to much of a soft cock to go behind their backs and get a bike.

    Now that they have the power, there is nothing they would rather do then try to spoil the fun for everyone else because they never got a chance.
  8. I'll give you another scenario. We all know that riders come off worst in accidents with cars, so it's the riders (or their relatives) that end up making compensation claims (driver is almost never hurt).

    So if TAC can convince everyone that it is mostly the rider's fault - even if a car pulls out in front of them - the compensation claims against TAC will be reduced due to culpability. This could be another way of undermining the 'no-fault' system and cutting outgoings.

    Maybe the 'physics' campaign is actually aimed at convincing the courts and magistrates to blame the rider?
  9. Moved the karmouche threadjack and the responses to the TAC thread this discussion is of a more general nature.
  10. I don't think I'll be changing the way I ride because of their ridiculous ad.

    I think it's primary purpose is to placate the masses who see us slip through the net they get caught in.

    The ad is a precursor to more draconian policing that should be along shortly.

    It is a wipe off 5 campaign directly targeting us, so watch as riders get picked off for doing 5 over.

    On that note I did hear a rumour there are plans to drop the 3km/h tolerance and move to a full zero tolerance policy. I don't usually do rumours but this one wont hurt to let out of the bag early. Watch for social engineering is my tip of the day. On that note...

    ...don't forget the recommendations in this...

  11. OK Smee - here's some evidence to prove Tony's assertion.

    Last weekend I took a girl out for a Hens night ride, that was organised by a her best friend as a surprise.

    When she got on the back of the bike she expressed how scared she was about going for a ride, and that she was feeling very uncomfortable - she was terrified.

    Over the next five minutes of the ride, I was able to explain and demonstrate that most of her fears were unfounded and that they were actually 100% wrong.

    You know what? At the end of the 1 hour ride she didn't want to get off. She was totally relaxed and all her fear's had disappeared.

    Explain to me why this is so? Prove to me that the TAC didn't have any influence on her initial attitude.

    FACT Smee FFS And her experience is not an isolated one - in fact she is exactly the same as 99% of my Harley Ride customers. I attribute their attitude to the TAC and all other safety agencies. To the general attitude which Joe Public has expressed towards motorcycles since the time that the car took over as the most common form of transport on the roads.

    Is not my assertion correct? Safety ads do damage my business. Its not just the TAC.
  12. Too true.....Honda's, Camry's, Subaru's and fuggin SUV's....the new millenium's friggin Volvo's
    • Like Like x 1
  13. What this, and your other stories, highlight JK (as you know) is the principle of fear of the unknown, and knowledge dispelling fear. Most people have a vacuum as far as knowledge of motorcycling goes - which is currently being filled by the various messages out there via various adds and so on. What the Harley ride does is give the passenger first hand knowledge, which effectively trumps the earlier misinformation.

    While it would be great for your business to take every driver out for a spin, its probably not going to happen (a shame, as it would be a lovely little earner for you, and I like to see people doing well), so we probably need to look other options to educate (this isn't a dig JK, I genuinely like seeing people doing well).

    Which brings us back to Tony E's earlier point (I hope) regarding target markets.. Are the various horror messages out there simply to ensure that the knowledge vacuum in the general population is being constantly topped up with the idea of how dangerous bike are, so there's no room for any other idea?

    Drifting into cognitive stuff for a mo (I'm bored at work) - Rob talks about cognitive dissonance from time to time, but I'd also like to mention another little gem called 'cognitive miser theory' (from memory). Its probably just as well thought of as lazy thinking. Effectively what this asserts is that once we have an belief about something, we'll resist any attempt to change our mind because of the effort involved in doing so - information that may cause us to do so is interpreted, filtered, adjusted (and sometimes just ignored) in order to not challenge that initial belief. Mental inertia might be another way of thinking of it. Basically, when information comes in, we'll take the easiest way of processing it, which means making it align with our existing beliefs - ie, we are miserly with our thinking/cognition.

    Still awake? Righto. So - cognitive dissonance occurs when you get information coming in that doesn't fit with the existing beliefs. So, the cognitive miser kicks in at this point, and we look for the easiest way of processing this. Options tend to include disbelief, ignoring, dismissing as an exception and so on. Sometimes we'll get something so compelling the mental effort involved in trying to maintain our previous belief actually becomes greater than the effort involved in changing our belief - and our belief changes. We change our mind. In the case of the Harley ride, I'd imagine the visceral, in your face and personal nature of the experience overwhelms the pre-existing belief. Though I'd like to check back again in a few months and see if that belief change stuck.

    So - weaving it back into the thread again - we have marketing campaigns that are constantly re-enforcing the bikes = bad message. This keeps the bike = bad belief at such a level that when your average person sees a bike doing something they can't understand (filtering, speeding to move ahead, weaving to be viable etc etc), the cognitive miser in them immediately interprets that through the bikes = bad filter, rather than going to the extra effort of thinking about why that rider might be acting the way they are. The recent TAC add demonstrates this pretty well - its easier for the cage driver to go along with the 'see bikes are dangerous, you cant see them etc etc' message than it is to go to the effort of re-evaluating their own driving.

    Which, in turn links in to Cheffie's arguments about social engineering - they are effectively ensuring that any information that people see about motorcyclists is filtered through this bike=bad belief. They want to make the level of cognitive dissonance required to change the belief so huge that it will never get changed - no matter how many motorcyclist stop to help stranded drivers, let people out of intersections and help Grannies over the road.

    This means that to the public any harassment is seen as deserved, harm as self inflicted, as to belief otherwise would involved going against the programmed belief. How many times have we seen a someone maintain or protect a sexist/racist/other miguided opinion about a group, despite being favourably impressed by someone of that group, by explaining them away as being the exception, or 'one of the good ones'.

    So - now the question is how can we counter this? Its a freaking powerful force we're up against here - and this (weaving threads again) ties in with the SMIDSY warchest ideas - and we need something pretty damn powerful and on-going to take this on.

    Cos rest assured, the screws are getting tighter - and right now the public are not on our side, and we dont have time to take them all on Harley rides.

    Dave - who really shouldn't allow himself to get this bored.
    • Like Like x 3
  14. very well put Dave. thanks for taking the time.
    i think they may have pushed their reliability on a gullible public a little too far with this ad.
    everyone is a skeptic. and drivers get smidsied too. so they recognize the behaviour the car displays in the ad. and they don't like it.

    plus, the TAC have previously created an image for themselves as an anti-motorcycle lobby group. or have been perceived as such by joe public anyway.

    keep telling people something is bad for them, they tend to wonder why that's being drummed into them. and then they want to try it. the younger want to drink from the poisoned chalice. the older want to question what they're being told by the system.

    i don't think we will have to fight it.
    i think the TAC will reap what they sew, not what they paid for.
    though, that might not be a good thing, even from a pro-rider perspective.

    the Tac are fools unfortunately. we deserve wiser.
  15. at the end of the day the TACs campaign to ruin riding might not be so bad. A real rider would jump through all the hoops, and endure the police brutality to ride. But a dckhead/squid/tosser probably would be discouraged, and while this may lead to an increase in unlicesed riders, many people would be shit riders but realise the serious nature of riding with out a license.

    Less morons on the roads is never a bad thing, and nothing short of banning motorcycles will stop me riding one.
  16. That's not the impression I'm getting from cagers. Many of them like it. One of them said to me the other day "we were so excited to see an ad where the driver wasn't doing anything wrong for once". My response was that if you believe that driver did nothing wrong, please hand in your license immediately for the good of all.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. #17 AngryAnt, May 5, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    Sorry, disagree completely. Squids and "dickheads" (your terminology) won't be discouraged at all - they disregard the law anyway. But "sensible" types will have more friends and family discouraging them, and you will be labled as a ******** because you continue to ride.

  18. I believe I have covered my opinion of who they are aimed at in another post:


    The ads are aimed at those who fear risk, those who let it run them and the power of peer pressure is extremely well known. As I said in that post, people are particularly emotionally driven when it comes to defending their own fears and not doing something they may want to (not just motorcycling here).

    There is no point appealing to us - the authorities already know that. So the next best thing is to appeal to those who may influence us and play upon their fears. Peer pressure is an extremely successful tactic and they would know that - research has proven it without doubt a lot. Every single TAC advert or from any other agency plays upon fear. Not just directly to those who let fear rule their lives - but in particular to the subset who seek to inflict their decisions based upon fear unto others. Unfortunately that tactic is effective and does work.

    The defence against it is to challenge their beliefs. There are a lot of educated, intelligent, conservative people out there who are not ruled by fear but ride bikes and take part in similar activities. The decision to ride is often a logical and well thought out one. Fortunately it also completely counters the logic that so many anti-risk conservatives abide by, because the idea that someone just like them can take risks and do what they want highlights their own inadequacy and the flaw of their line of thinking.