Rockit Science helped save thousands of lives by increasing seat belt usage in multiple states, using traditional, non-traditional and experiential advertising campaigns funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The Challenge

Odds of dying from an asteroid impact is 1 in 74,814,414.
Odds of dying while skydiving is 1 in 133,000.
Odds of dying from a car crash with no seat belt is 1 in 2.

Between 2014 to 2018, more than half of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in car crashes weren’t wearing seatbelts. Thousands of lives were at stake, and the NHTSA was faced with the overwhelming challenge of figuring out a way to reach teen segments, whose traditional advertising consumption was decreasing at staggering rates. New strategies and tactical methods, like experiential advertising and digital media buys, needed to be explored in order to reach this audience.

The Approach

The NHTSA engaged Rockit Science to develop, deploy, and research pilot programs focused on reaching teen segments across multiple states. Through qualitative research models and discovery huddles with teen focus groups, we developed a new advertising campaign and brand messaging platform position model to ensure successful engagement and consumption of the core Click It or Ticket message. Teens viewed previous advertising and communications campaigns as pure "scare tactics."

Through non-traditional experiential messaging strategies via digital, social media content creation, the Agency was able to engage the target groups. These tactics included street posters, reverse graffiti, and in-theater standees that provided social media sharing opportunities. We also developed toolkits for Urban and Hispanic teens for rollout to high schools.

Play It Safe sticker design for Click It or Ticket. A happy police officer writing a young lawbreaker a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt.

Dial 1-800 Click It

The Agency designed whimsical flyers that engaged users to "take one" and call a 1-800 number to learn more about each particular flyer. Each of the flyer lessons delivered the "Click It or Ticket" message in a comical manner.

Designs for the Click It or Ticket poster campaign.

Reversing the Negative

The agency power-washed campaign messages and powerful stencil visuals on sidewalks in high-traffic areas. The stencils displayed the actual distances that drivers not wearing their seatbelts were thrown from cars during car crashes.

Reverse graffiti graphic for the Click It or Ticket campaign. Pressure washed imagery from a car crash on the concrete.

The Results

4,100 Lives Saved

The number of car crash deaths declined significantly during the pilot program engagement in comparison to the previous annualized enforcement period.

32.7% increased belt use

There was a 32.7% increase in seat belt usage over the previous enforcement period.


There were 45,750 hashtag and photo shares from in-theater standees.

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