Students use social media to promote safe driving

“It’s also a low-cost alternative, as we have a very limited budget,” said Holland. Participants in the contest were given a $5,000 budget to work with.

The George Marshall team also proposed a competition amongst students to develop the best YouTube video commercial for the “Orange Cones. No Phones,” campaign, with an iPod touch prize as an incentive.

“We created out own sub-slogan, which is ‘Is one glance worth a chance?’ to target high school students a little better,” added Felter, who said the original advertisements appealed more to older drivers.

The team will have the opportunity to put its strategy to test during the spring semester.

“This really is a phenomenal opportunity to take what these students are learning in the classroom and give them a real case study situation where we’re not just talking about maybes or if we coulds on a project,” said Jen Hendrickson, a teacher at George Marshall. “This is a real $5,000 that’s going to be spent. … I think the more opportunities we give students to do this, the more prepared they’re going to be for the workplace and be able to get the jobs that are in this industry.”

“It made the numbers more real, so it made us really think about the exact things that would go into the plan and how exactly we’d carry that out,” said Jain.

The teams were scored on their use of a timeline and the budget, the organization of their presentation, creativity, and how easily the idea could be implemented within the budget parameters.

Other teams came up with the ideas such as orange rubber bracelets with the campaign’s slogan on them, with the thought that students would see them on their wrists every time they put their hands on the steering wheel. Some proposed having assemblies and bringing in experts to discuss the construction and statistics about the dangers of distracted driving.

“We had four schools that competed, and every team really did a great job,” said Holland, who added that the winning team’s use of social media tipped the scales in their favor.

“The pinnacle of their campaign was working within social media, because their research showed over three-fourths of the teenagers they were surveying used a social networking website at least once a day,” Holland said. Holland added that the personalized slogan was a nice touch.

“The sub-tagline [was] targeted towards their audience … so we thought that showed some creativity as well and some ownership of their team,” said Holland.

The team will begin putting their plan into action in January. They will be supervised by Transurban-Fluor officials, and the process of enacting their idea will count as internship credit for them.

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