When we earned the opportunity to work with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to raise awareness about the dangers of street racing and sideshows across the state, the JP team was inspired to participate in work that could literally save lives. We put the pedal to the metal, so to speak, on developing creative messaging that would expose the consequences of participating and spectating, which sometimes includes the loss of life.
Pedal to the metal
With the expected release of the latest in the Fast and the Furious movie franchise, “Fast X,” on May 18, 2023, we decided to wrap our whole campaign around a time when street racing would be glamorized on the big screen. CHP confirmed that an uptick in speed and reckless-driving-related incidents occur each time a movie like this is released. Therefore, the timing was critical to the success of the campaign, and we had just eight weeks to get the campaign live.
Here comes the fun part…
Create compelling ads quickly. CHP wants to use cars that replicate those from the Fast movies. However, we have to balance the client’s wishes with trademarked brands. We also want to incorporate enough shock value to grab audience attention but not be so graphic that our media partners will deny placements. “As Technical Director, it’s my job to make sure ads can pass everyone’s approvals and meet client expectations without getting anyone in trouble for trademark infringement or other issues,” says JP’s Josh Durham, “and for this project, that was extra tricky because we had to rely on stock footage and images due to our quick turnaround timelines.” Add a layer of interest from the Governor’s Office, and you might want to buckle up for a wild ride. In the end, approvals on the client side were quick, allowing us to meet 11th-hour deadlines.
We reached out to trusted partners at National Cinemedia and Wilkins Experiential Media to help us craft a plan targeting moviegoers, gamers, and the public. We leveraged a “Name That Movie” screen game for the movie theaters that incorporated images from the first Fast movie and then wrapped it with our campaign messaging, “Thrills That Kill.”
Wilkins secured wrecked cars similar to those from the Fast franchise, which served as a backdrop to a press conference on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Speakers stood in front of a two-story version of the campaign message letting the media know that enhanced efforts to crack down on street racing and sideshows will be taking place across the state to counter the messaging the movie sends. The Founder of StreetRacingKills.org, Lili, who lost her daughter to a street race, drove home the message that you don’t have to be the driver to suffer the deadly consequences.
Approvals on the client side were quick, allowing us to meet 11th-hour deadlines. — Josh Durham, Technical Director, JP Marketing
In the end, we exceeded our 100 million impressions goal in the first 30 days of the campaign launch, and we created a memorable campaign designed to save lives. All in a day’s work here at JP!
Jenica Sabelstrom, Copywriter/Producer