Don’t text and drive…and beware of a shortage of sperm

You can talk until you’re blue in the face to people about drunken driving and texting while driving…but, being South Africans, they’ll probably ignore you.

If you want to get the message across that using a phone to text or do email while you’re driving can be deadly, then you’re going to need to use the old “gut punch” technique.

That’s exactly what FCB Cape Town did for the Western Cape Government as part of its #ItCanWait campaign, which aims to discourage texting and driving.

But, there has been a little bit of humour added to take the edge off the grim.

So we see a collection of funny little scenes, which looks as though they were captured on close circuit TV cameras, of people coming badly short while walking and looking down at the screens of their smartphones.

Two people collide in a pedestrian crossing and the woman’s phone gets shattered as it hits the tarmac; a man plunges into a pond, a woman walks into a door and a man trips over boxes on the pavement.

We’ve all been there – even before the days of mobile phones, we all had moments when we were not paying attention and we took a tumble.

The ad then poses the question: “If you can’t text when you walk” and fades into a scene in a car being driven by a young woman, who is driving and concentrating on her phone. Suddenly, she loses control and the car rolls…It’s an explosive scene as objects and glass hurtle everywhere and she ends up still.

It makes the point far better than any lecture could.

So it gets an Orchids for The W Cape government and FCB Cape Town, as well as for director Jason Fielkov of Egg Films, who put the video together.

This next one’s not really an Onion, more like an observation about unfortunate juxtapositioning.

When we put newspapers together, the first thing we do is look at what we call a “flat plan”. This is a schematic picture of what the next paper will look like. The ads are outlined, so you know what shape of a page you will have left and how you will have to adjust your design accordingly.

Sometimes, you can see what the ad is about; but quite often, as you are working on the page, you have no idea who the client is.

However, normally by the time you get to your front page, you should have an idea of what the ad looks like and who it is for.

There are those who would say that editorial and advertising have no connection whatsoever and that editorial should always put their pages together without worrying about what the ad says.

Sometimes, though, you do really need to look a bit closer, to avoid placing inappropriate or bizarre content alongside an ad.

The production staff on The Times last week obviously didn’t bother looking at the ad on their front page, which featured Health minister Aaron Motsoaledi saying “HIV is transmitted through unprotected sex!” as the first line in the #PhilaThursday AIDS awareness campaign the department is running.

On top of the ad was an unfortunate “plug” box promoting a story inside the paper.

“Mankind running out of sperm” it said.

No further comment necessary.

*What’s your take on ads? Let me know –

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