“Motorbikin’, motorbikin’, motorbikin’, motorcycling. Movin’ on the queen’s highway. Lookin’ like a streak of lightnin’. If you gotta go, go, gotta go motorbike ridin’.”
If you’re already “air guitaring” to Chris Spedding’s classic ode to the “Wild Ones” of Britain, you could well be part of the problem which a new campaign for Highways England is trying to tackle.
You see, while motorbikes make up less than 1% of road traffic they account for more than 20% of serious and fatal vehicle casualties in the UK.
The task of addressing this stark reality has fallen to Adam & Eve DDB and Haygarth, which have been briefed to encourage motorcyclists to take control of their own safety by taking as much care of their own bodies, as they do their beloved bikes.
To be fair, Haygarth has put in a lot of the leg work for the initiative by launching the BikerTek “bike parts” shop. Instead of bike parts, the shop stocks prosthetics used in surgery to repair the body after a crash. The pop-up shops have appeared at 13 motorcycling events, festivals and cafés around the country already this summer.
The ‘parts’ in the shop look high-end, but on closer inspection are in fact medical implants you may need if undergoing major surgery following an accident.
The shops have been staffed by real bikers who have survived accidents and had prosthetic parts fitted as a result, so they can talk to bikers about the tactics and skills required to avoid accidents.
Now Adam & Eve has created an online film showing the unsuspecting bikers’ reactions when they find out what the parts in the shop are really for. The film ends with the strapline “Bikes repair easier than bikers”.
The film is beng shared by “biker influencers”, although it is not known whether Spedding is on board. This activity is being supported by a series of press ads in biker magazines, including MCN Motorcycle News, Ride, Bike, Practical Sportsbikes and Classic Bike.
Highways England head of marketing and events Annemarie Hennessy said: ““In addition to raising awareness through BikerTek, we are encouraging riders to attend advanced riding courses such as BikeSafe and Biker Down run by the emergency services, plus those from the Institute of Advanced Motorists and RoSPA.”
Adam & Eve DDB managing partner Mike Stern said: “Bike safety campaigns tend to use shock tactics, but that approach can often miss the mark. We wanted bikers to be as passionate about their safety as they are about their bikes. With BikerTek, we were able to engage bikers in new way and talk to them directly about an issue they can’t afford to ignore.”
So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office? Will we be quaking in our leathers, the next time we jump upon a Triumph Thunderbird? Will it make us think twice before opening up the throttle of a Norton Commando? More importantly, will the message get through to the thousands of weekend bikers who seem to swarm on to the roads accountants to hit the roads at as soon as the sun comes out?
Well, first up, this film is only the supporting act; most of the work has been done by Haygarth which ran the pop-up BikerTek shops. Not that we’re exactly experts on two-wheels – but if this initiative makes bikers sit up and take note, prevents them from hitting the throttle, and turns Wild Ones into Mild Ones, it can only be a good thing, can’t it? After all, bikers will always be bikers, as Spedding sings: “If you gotta go, go, gotta go motorbike ridin’.”
Decision Marketing Adometer: 7 out of 10