Distracted Walking PSA

Smartphones are contributing to a sharp rise in distracted walking, particularly among younger Canadians. In a 2018 study of more than 3,000 Canadians of driving age conducted by Desjardins Insurance, 30% of respondents admitted to texting while walking near a public road. The number jumped to 60% among people 16-24.

The campaign “Distracted Walking,” urges people to keep their “heads up, devices down.” broke in early July, timed to coincide with young people being out of school, tourist season, etc. Two videos show young people obliviously texting and walking in highly dangerous environments—a motocross event and a rodeo—with the super “You wouldn’t do this.” The scene then abruptly shifts to a busy urban street, accompanied by the super “So why do this?” The creative is currently running on digital boards at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square, complemented by targeted digital and social.

“We firmly believe in the City of Toronto’s ‘Vision Zero Plan,’ and think it’s important to release this PSA in time for the summer season around the issue and risk of distracted walking on Canada’s busiest street.”—Mark Garner, chief operating officer, Downtown Yonge BIA.


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