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Helping Indian consumers respect the road

A multimedia campaign run by SABMiller India and its partners uses traditional family values to encourage consumers not to drink and drive

In the North Indian state of Haryana the figure of Tau (literally ‘Dad’s elder brother’) commands respect due to his stature in the family hierarchy.

So SABMiller has created a Traffic Tau mascot for its Respect the Road campaign, run in partnership with the city’s traffic police, leading taxi and chauffeur companies, and Radio City, India’s first FM radio station.

The Respect the Road campaign launched in 2011 to encourage consumers to choose a responsible journey home after an evening out by calling a taxi, hiring a chauffeur or designating a non-drinking ‘buddy’ driver.

Traffic Tau’s slogans on road safety can be seen at busy intersections throughout the city of Gurgaon. And a real live Traffic Tau can occasionally be found working with the traffic police. Celebrated Bollywood actor Chandrachur Singh played the role of Traffic Tau for the campaign launch.

The campaign initially focused on the city of Gurgaon but has since spread to parts of the nearby capital city, New Delhi. Naturally, with a radio station as partner, the airwaves have been some of the busiest channels through which campaign messages are communicated. During the festive season, Radio City urged listeners to make on-air pledges to curb drinking and driving, receiving almost 10,000 calls and more than 8,000 text messages. Respect the Road has also made extensive use of other media, including hoardings, coasters, tent cards, live media, social media picture sharing channels and its own dedicated Facebook page, which has gathered more than 32,000 ‘likes’.

In addition, more than 12,000 people used the Twitter hashtag #blowthewhistle and a total of 100,000 people engaged in the social media campaign to create new road safety slogans. The campaign’s taxi partner, Mega Cabs, has placed its logo and messages in 500 taxis operating in the area, reaching an estimated 60,000 passengers a month.