Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec


Road accidents are the number one cause of death among 16- to 24-year-olds. Many youth continue to take risks at the wheel and others are reluctant to speak out against dangerous driving behaviour when sitting in the passenger seat. The SAAQ wanted to reach college students and warn them about the perils of reckless driving.

The campaign targeted college students, who are more prone to road accidents due to speeding, driving under the influence or texting. A difficult to reach target, who consume little or no traditional media, they often consider themselves invincible, and are highly averse to patronizing or paternalistic messages.

The message was focused on passengers rather than drivers, since, according to several studies, friends are front-line participants who can persuade a driver to change dangerous behaviour.

To connect with passengers, the agency placed an installation in bathrooms that placed youth face-to-face with three young "ghosts" that had lost their lives in car accidents. The ghosts revealed that they would still be alive if they had only told the driver to slow down, not to text or not to drive after drinking.

The ghosts were played by three young actors, all unknown to the audience. They delivered a sober and touching story, sharing their thoughts at the time of the accident, the grief of their parents, their regrets and how they wish that they were still alive. At the end of the experience, users were invited to visit ( for additional information on road accidents and safety.

The installation consisted of a sink unit with a one-way mirror. Behind the mirror, an autostereoscopic screen projected a 3D ghost in front of the mirror when a motion sensor was activated. It featured a hidden camera that captured users' reactions.

The installation was seen by nearly 10,000 young people across the province in 39 colleges. The case video was viewed nearly 220,000 times on YouTube. In the press and online media, the initiative was mentioned in 125 stories, which is the equivalent to $585,000 in free media placement. Colleges have asked for the installation to come back for the upcoming year.