SABMiller India Wants You To #BlowTheWhistle On Road Offenders

Review of SABMiller India's #BlowTheWhistle social media campaign, part of Respect the Road public interest campaign. Fans have been encourage to blow whistles at traffic offenders


Campaigns are taking the social media route to enable a wider reach. ‘Respect the Road – Don’t Drink and Drive’, a public interest campaign launched in October 2011 by SABMiller India in association with the traffic police, has recently embarked on a social media route to promote responsible drinking. As a part of the campaign, the beer brand has launched the ‘Blow the Whistle’ initiative where the idea is to encourage people to blow whistles at road and traffic offenders.

The festive season saw the campaign distributing whistles and urging people to use them against road offenders and rule breakers. A similar activity is being followed on the campaign’s social media properties, although virtual. The website now redirects a viewer to the campaign’s Facebook page.

sabmiller respect the road

Blow the Whistle on social

The ‘Respect the Road’ Facebook page which has more than 32K fans, has been sharing visual updates since last month. A new cover photo was uploaded last month announcing the ‘blow the whistle’ initiative. The wall is being used to create awareness on the campaign. Graphic visuals have been shared to describe the different kinds of road offenses fans can protest against by blowing the whistle, like drunk drivers, garbage dumpers, overspeeders. etc.

In addition, fans have been invited to post pictures of road offenders and share their experiences of blowing whistles at offenders. They have been encouraged to send pictures and videos of who they would blow the whistle against. Pictures sent in by the fan community have then been shared on the wall along with the sender details.

Post by Respect the Road.

The campaign has also involved Twitter users to participate by way of interesting contests. The Golden Rule contest on Twitter invited users to follow the campaign’s handle and tweet their golden rule for road safety using the hashtag #blowthewhistle.

Involving citizens through social media

Social media, with it’s two-way communication mode, lends itself as a cool medium with people, be it for promoting your products or a campaign issued in public interest. Besides, given the rising number of road accidents in the country, road safety is an issue that concerns all and needs a behavioral change to bring about safer roads in India. And social media can be a good aid in SABMiller’s ‘Respect the Road’ campaign that promotes responsible drinking, one of the beer brand’s sustainable development priority.

The campaign’s ‘Blow the Whistle’ initiative makes a decent effort to reach out through the medium of social media by way of fan involvement and gratifications for sharing their road safety rules. The visuals creating awareness on the various kinds of road and traffic violations, and sharing offline activities coupled with sharing the community’s ideas for safer roads, have worked well here.

Road safety campaigns and social media to bring about a behavioral change go hand-in-hand. Ford did it with ‘I pledge to drive safe’ campaign on Facebook and ICICI Lombard did it with ‘Drive home safe‘.

A public interest campaign that makes an effective use of social media. What do you think?