In 2016 Alliance member Kunhadi, Lebanon, received an Alliance seed grant for an awareness campaign focused on new road traffic laws in Lebanon. Through a survey, they identified one aspect of the law that respondents were most interested in learning about. Their campaign, “Stop before the white lines,” was aimed at convincing drivers to stop before the white lines at pedestrian crossings. It used a short, animated TV spot to raise awareness and change driver behavior.
Although Kunhadi had created TV spots in the past, it had only captured the number of people reached by the spots. This time, through the seed grant, they sought to measure the spots’ impact.
In order to ensure that as many people as possible saw the latest spot, they looked to broadcast it at locations that host a high volume of people. They achieved this by partnering with a supermarket chain, which broadcast the spot in 50 stores, and with the Municipality of Beirut, which used the spot as part of a local campaign. They were also able to broadcast it on pedestrian passageways and via social media.
Kunhadi volunteers did a survey to evaluate the impact of the TV spot before and after viewing. They found that before viewing, 36.6% of people could correctly answer questions about behavior on the white pedestrian lines. After viewing, the number rose to 79.9%.
During the project period, the spot was viewed 15,615 times on Facebook, 162 times on YouTube, and 139 times on Instagram.
The project has led to bigger things. The Municipality of Beirut asked Kunhadi to partner with them to launch a national pedestrian campaign. The campaign was biggest in Beirut, where they partnered with, among others, the Beirut police, FIA Foundation, and the Automobile et Touring Club du Liban, and 15 new crosswalks were installed around Beirut.
Most importantly, the campaign and its message are taking effect. Says May Abdouny, Communications Coordinator, “Now it’s a lot more common to see cars stopping before the white lines on red lights, albeit not nearly as many as they should. But at least the culture is launched. Here is a picture [see below] where cars are stopping before the white lines, without the presence of a policeman or other enforcement, even though the lines aren’t even clear. That is a sight you couldn’t see previously.
“Recently we uploaded news about the installation of a new crosswalk to Facebook, and the picture [shown below] showed a car parked on the white lines. All comments on that link were pointing out to the car parked illegally on the white lines, which is an indicator of a change in awareness. This would not have been the case a year ago.”
The project was chosen for an Alliance seed grant because it is an innovative way to disseminate awareness and reach a large audience and is easy to replicate. The use of animation allowed for very cost-effective production that can be easily adapted for other countries. Evidence and impact are key themes of the Alliance Empowerment Program, of which the seed program is one element. The impact of media can be difficult to measure but this project demonstrates how simple tools can be used to evaluate such projects. We congratulate Kunhadi on the longer-term effects of its work and look forward to seeing how awareness of road safety takes root in Lebanon.