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McDonald's mascot, Ronald 'drives home' road safety tips to Mumbaikars

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In OOH News | February 02, 2011
Through an OOH campaign, the red-and-yellow mascot gave safety tips to drivers and riders during the Safety Week, with messages such as "I am wearing a seat belt - I 'm lovin' it".

Looking at the rampant rash driving and flouting of traffic rules, the Mumbai Traffic Police recently launched a road Safety Week in the island city. Popular quick service restaurant, McDonald's came on-board to communicate these messages to the common man.

The Safety Week, which was a 15-day campaign starting from the second week of January till the end of the month, was aimed at inculcating traffic discipline and adherence to traffic rules. The Mumbai Traffic Police, along with McDonald's, jointly created a simple, yet effective campaign to drive the message home.

OOH agency, Milestone Brandcom created the outdoor media plan, where McDonald's mascot, Ronald was used to communicate these messages. Rajat Gupta and Hanoz Patel from the agency ideated and executed the campaign and media innovation.

As part of the campaign, Ronald's larger-than-life cut-outs were placed at most signal points. In all, 500 touch points were covered in Mumbai, including traffic signals, hoardings, gantries and median kiosks. The activity was also extended to schools and McDonald's outlets.

During the activity, Ronald visually demonstrated how he obeyed all the traffic rules. For instance, for controlling speed, the message board read, "I am following the speed limit while driving -- I'm lovin' it". Similarly, for wearing seat belts, the message was, "I am wearing a seat belt -- I'm lovin' it". For not using the phone while driving, Ronald said, "I am not using the phone while driving -- I'm lovin' it". The other safety tips promoted during the campaign were wearing helmets, not blowing the horn unnecessarily, and not drinking and driving.

Nabendu Bhattacharyya, founder and managing director, Milestone Brandcom, says, "We are delighted to execute a campaign, which has addressed the society at large and created a lot of awareness. The McDonald's brand and creative approach brought the cause alive. The visual demonstration of the message reached out to a larger audience in a simplified manner. I'm sure Mumbaikars loved it and committed to follow road safety discipline."

Commenting on the activity, Rameet Arora, senior director, McDonald's India (South & West), says, "It is a great initiative by the Mumbai police. The traffic in Mumbai does need to be disciplined. Thus, such initiatives should be frequent. We are obliged that we could help them to create awareness and encourage the people to follow the traffic rules for their own safety."

Discussing the connect between the brand and this campaign, Arora says, "McDonald's is a lifestyle brand. It's an outdoor brand and we feel it connects with the consumers about these things far more than other brands do. The 'I'm lovin' it' tagline stands for a moment in life and enjoying that. Similarly, this campaign encapsulates loving life itself. Also, like many other companies, we too, would like to be seen as a responsible company, and this helps us do that."

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