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Are “Don’t Text While Driving” Billboards Effective or Counterproductive?

I drive past several billboards on my way to work every morning, and usually they’re picture-heavy and easy to understand while passing by them at 60 mph.  However, one billboard on my route seems a bit difficult to comprehend while driving, and it’s part of the “Don’t Text While Driving” campaign.

The billboard I’m referring to has the letters “DTWD” emblazoned across the top and has the meaning directly below it in much smaller letters, “Don’t Text While Driving.”  Now, I’m not saying that these ads aren’t important, because THEY ARE!  People definitely should not text while they drive, and it’s necessary to get word out somehow.  However, the billboard confused me a bit because I had to look twice at the “Don’t Text While Driving” message underneath the “DTWD” to understand what it meant.

Perhaps I’m just not up on the latest lingo or perhaps I have terrible eyesight, but I felt that the actual message, “Don’t Text While Driving”, should have been given priority over the acronym, “DTWD”, and placed at the top of the billboard in larger lettering. If I can’t read a billboard and comprehend it within a couple seconds of glancing at it, then I don’t think it’s very effective…not to mention, if the billboard is advocating NOT texting while driving to prevent distractions and accidents, wouldn’t it be contradictory to advertise that via a billboard that’s also distracting?

What do you think about DTWD billboards?  Are they effective or counterproductive the way they are right now?  How can this important message be heard by more people?  We’d love to hear your feedback!  No matter what your opinion of this blog post, please remember that texting while driving is very dangerous!  Thanks for reading the Quality Logo Products blog. :)



Jill Tooley

Jill has been obsessed with words since her fingers could turn the pages of a book. She’s a hopeless bibliophile who recently purchased a Kindle after almost 6 years of radical opposition, and she loves stumbling upon new music on Pandora. Random interests include (but are not limited to) bookstores, movie memorabilia, and adorable rodents. Jill writes for the QLP blog and assists with the company’s social media accounts. You can connect with Jill on Google+.

Comments

  1. Juliette

    I have to admit, had I seen that billboard I probably would have been distracted. Agree with the message, maybe not so much with the delivery.

    In a similar ad campaign, here in TN they were trying to remind people of the consequences of drunk driving. It was called “Drive Drunk, Get Nailed”. The first time I actually saw one of these “ads” I nearly hit the car in front of me because I was staring at the ad, not quite sure what I was looking at. Here’s a photo of one: http://joespakeblog.com/2009/07/07/drive-drunk-get-nailed/

    Good message but again, maybe not the best delivery.

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