Even though most people know that texting while driving can lead to crashes, way too many people still partake in the dangerous activity. That’s why System1 Agency has teamed up with production company Unit9 to create a public service film that drives home the point that ‘There’s No Next if You Text.’
The National Safety Council has reported that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6m collisions in the US alone each year, accounting for over 3,400 deaths. System1 Agency wanted to use its knowledge of and expertise in behavioral science to create an emotional film with the aim of changing people’s attitudes and behaviors around this issue.
The 90-second PSA, created in partnership with Unit9’s director duo, A Common Future, starts with a young woman driving along in her convertible on a winding mountain road. Her boyfriend is then seen entering a bar, and texts her, saying that he arrived way too early. As she drives, she reads the text and texts back. Through the course of their back and forth, we find out that he is waiting at the bar where they first met and they are reliving that first encounter. Unfortunately, she is still far from the venue, and the texts get more serious, as we see the drama build that both have important news and questions for each other, alluding to a possible marriage proposal or something equally weighty.
Suddenly, the viewer is robbed of what happens next, as the woman veers off the road. The film concludes by stating, ‘There’s No Next If You Text.’
“System1 Agency is proud to partner with Unit9’s director duo, A Common Future, on this important film that uses emotional storytelling to shed light on an issue that affects the lives of so many people across the globe,” said Paul Spriggs, president, Americas, System1 Agency. “The film impacts people’s emotions and has the potential to change behavior. Our hope is that it will emotionally touch everyone who sees it, given we all text and may distract someone who is driving. Sharing it through social media ensures as many people as possible are able to see it.”
System1 Agency stated it wanted to take this approach to corporate social responsibility because it knew it could have an impact. It noted that ‘There’s No Next If You Text’ researched in the top 1% of all films tested, in terms of emotional response.
Other stats it shared about distracted driving included that those who text and drive are six times more likely to get into an accident than those who drive drunk, and that 97% of teens know the consequences of texting and driving, but 43% of them do it regardless.
System1 Agency, Unit9: 'There's No Next if You Text'