When a teenager hits the road for the first time, he or she enters what the National Safety Council has deemed one of the most dangerous years of a person's life– one that has become exponentially more perilous as cell phones have been added to the mix behind the wheel. Car accidents caused by distracted driving are the leading cause of death among American teenagers.
To address this growing problem, Toyota and Discovery Education partnered to create TeenDrive365: In School, a comprehensive engagement program anchored by an online information hub that provides safe-driving tools and resources to students and teachers. This approach to safety education is grounded in the belief that bringing teens and educators together with creative contests and resources is the key to changing teens' behaviors.
A major component of this program is the TeenDrive365 Video Challenge, which aims to encourage students to drive safely and motivate them to become proactive in curbing the deadly problem of distracted driving among peers. The Challenge invites students in grades 9-12 to create original videos describing what they can do in their communities to help make their peers and themselves safer drivers, and then upload their videos to YouTube. Toyota and Discovery Education know that when it comes to issues like safe driving, teens can be one of the biggest influences on other teens. This contest allows teens to talk to their peers about the very serious topic of distracted driving in their own way – using creativity, talent and video skills.
For the 2018 TeenDrive365 Video Challenge, ten finalists were chosen and their entries were posted online for public vote. The winner of the public vote received the People's Choice Award along with $5,000 and a trip to see a taping of a Velocity network show.
Additionally, a panel of judges from Discovery Education, Toyota, educators and community leaders selected a first, second and third place winner, as well as four regional winners. The winners were selected based on the creativity, content and presentation of their videos. The grand prize winner received $15,000 and will work with a Discovery film crew to reshoot their video as a professional, TV-ready PSA. The second-place winner was awarded $10,000, and the third-place winner received $7,500. The additional seven finalists received $2,500, and four regional winners received $1,000.
Execution: The campaign began with a press release publicizing the competitions' launch. Discovery Education leveraged partnerships with school districts nationwide through promotion to the expansive Discovery Education educator community through digital newsletters and emails. We also promoted the challenge on DiscoveryEducation.com with promotion on the homepage and targeted carousels for teacher, parent and student pages. Discovery Education aired a call-for-entries spot on Discovery Networks and also executed a targeted media campaign on YouTube which received over 60,000 views.
The public vote was supported by a grassroots social media and marketing campaign carried out by participants, their families, friends and schools who were looking to earn votes during the voting period. Finalists used social media platforms to gain votes for their videos, and some even went door to door in their communities to create awareness. Discovery Education and Toyota leveraged numerous assets, including data that Toyota has collected over the past several years on distracted driving as well as content submitted by the finalists to build a successful PR and marketing strategy. Customized press releases were distributed to each of the 10 finalists' local media outlets, and finalists' stories were covered in many local newspapers, online news sites, radio and TV stations. Discovery Education worked with each of the finalists' school district communications team to get out the word to the local media, local government officials and other community stakeholders. A push also went out to education reporters to promote coverage of the open voting period, and multiple education trades covered it.To announce winners, Discovery Education distributed a press release over a wire service. To amplify the announcement, Discovery Education organized a surprise event at the students' school outside in Millington, TN. Multiple TV stations, online and print media attended the surprise winner event.
Over the past eight years, the TeenDrive365: In School program has directly reached thousands of students across the United States. The 2017 TeenDrive365 Video Challenge success can be seen in:
More than 5,200 registrants for the 2017 Challenge
More than 1,300 registrants for the 2018 Challenge
TeenDrive365InSchool.com received visitors from over 120 countries
Media coverage of the Challenge garnered more than 7M impressions
Toyota and Discovery Education delivered more than 26M impressions through online promotion
Toyota and Discovery Education have delivered 75 million on-air impressions encouraging safe driving through Discovery properties including Destination America, American Heroes Channel, TLC and Velocity.
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