Imperial Road Safety raises road safety awareness using one hashtag

12 June 2018 | Road Safety Highlights

Imperial Road Safety, powered by Motus, recently launched its #BongieSays social media campaign - aimed at educating online users about responsible road safety through a series of bite–sized social media posts. 
“One cannot deny the power and impact of social media in society, as we know it today. In fact, reports* indicate that South Africa has 16 million Facebook users and 8 million Twitter users which really paints the picture in terms of how we are consuming information as a nation. Therefore, as a brand continuously looking for platforms and channels to bring road safety education to the forefront, using social media to drive this, was very important to us.” 
“By using the hashtag - #BongieSays, we aim to create talkability online and, more importantly, influence how South Africans perceive and react to road safety, which is critical if you consider the country’s road safety crisis,” says Berenice Francis, Group Commercial Executive at IMPERIAL.
Since its launch, some of the key topics covered as part of the #BongieSays campaign include: distracted driving, the importance of using a safety belt at all times, as well as advice for pedestrians, cyclists and runners as road users. 
The campaign, launched in May, forms part of the brand’s celebrated Safe Scholars initiative that was launched in 2015 as a tool to target young learner pedestrians aged between 6 - 13 - educating them about the fundamentals of road safety. 
Since then, the campaign has made its way across all nine provinces, at schools located in both urban and rural areas, to promote a key message amongst learners – the importance of practising vigilance and being responsible when travelling on the roads.
In fact, the Safe Scholars campaign has been highly effective, and to date, over 1.3 million learners at 1 455 schools have been positively impacted by Imperial’s road safety mascot, Bongie - Buckle Up Buddy. Bongie forms an integral part of the Safe Scholars campaign by facilitating key road safety messages during his visits to schools, using an easy-to-learn and memorable approach including a road safety song - “you look right, you look left, you look right again and then cross” to entrench this amongst learners.
Francis concludes; “Road safety affects everyone, both young and old, and if we are to continue to reach a diverse audience to ensure that we are making an impact in our quest to contribute towards safer roads, social media is a vehicle that will allow us to reach the masses and encourage participation from all South Africans.”
“Since we rolled out our #BongieSays campaign, our online engagement has grown by 93% on Facebook and by 27% on Twitter, which is encouraging as it shows that people are responsive to the road safety advice, and something that we hope to build on as the campaign gains momentum.”

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