Safety in numbers
How license plates and a provocative outreach campaign accelerated an airbag recall
The safety of a nation’s people is a primary focus for governments.
When faulty Takata airbags were found to have caused deaths and injuries in multiple accidents world-over including in Australia, the Australian Government implemented a compulsory vehicle recall. The scale of the recall, to be administered by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, was huge.
The recall demanded each manufacturer implement a national advertising campaign, including television, radio and print, to help vehicle owners identify faulty airbags and indicate how to take action. Alternatively, manufacturers could embark on a joint industry advertising campaign – to avoid the repetitiveness of more than 20 individual campaigns.
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) took the responsibility for a joint communications campaign on behalf of its member manufacturers. With more than 2.3 million vehicles to be identified and rectified, the FCAI faced a seemingly insurmountable task – that called for a simple solution.
The FCAI teamed up with Accenture Interactive, The Monkeys (an Australian creative agency Accenture acquired in May 2017) and IHS Markit to influence people to take action and create a simple and quick way to check each vehicle and ultimately save lives.
Crucially, a one-stop solution was needed for all vehicle owners to find out if their vehicles were fitted with faulty Takata airbags. But vehicle information was stored on a number of different databases, making it dauntingly complex to track down.
The team conjured and designed a new digital tool that seamlessly connected multiple databases onto a single easy-to-use platform. The innovative tool integrates vehicle sales, recall and registration data from multiple organisations. All information is obtained securely in real time through a connected, responsive and multichannel platform.
Using the tool, people could quickly find out if their vehicles were at risk simply by inputting their vehicle number plate and state/territory of registration. If the vehicle is affected by the recall, the owner is instantly notified and provided with a link to the relevant vehicle manufacturer to promptly replace the faulty airbag free of charge. The message spread across television, radio, newspapers and magazines as well as at the cinema, on outdoor billboards, gas station screens and on social media. The FCAI and Accenture Interactive soon had people’s attention.
While collaboration between the FCAI, Accenture Interactive and other project partners was key to the project’s success, so too was the human-centric approach.
The project had to reach every single vehicle owner in Australia, regardless of location, age, level of connectivity etc. The goal was to inform the public of the potential risks, but also to ensure vehicle owners grasped the urgency of the task. Plus, it was important to reassure them of the simplicity and ease of using the new website – in all, a delicate balance to strike.
None of this would have been possible without a deep understanding of Australia’s diverse communities and cultures. Communications were developed in multiple languages to ensure the message would quickly engage people from myriad backgrounds and nationalities.
The message reached millions of people, triggering a shift in the public mindset and initiating proactive behaviour.
The collaboration between Accenture Interactive, FCAI and other project partners hinged on the provocative public outreach campaign that drove awareness alongside the user-friendly digital solution that made it easy for vehicle owners to take action.
By combining the public awareness outreach with a slick digital experience offering an instantaneous answer, Accenture Interactive and the FCAI have raised the bar for behaviour change campaigns and problem-solving digital solutions.
Through the application of Accenture Interactive's innovation in solving complex business challenges and their end-to-end capability, the FCAI and its project partners were enabled to exceed their ambitious goals and safeguard millions of Australian people.
Unique registration checks on the digital portal in just nine weeks.
Vehicle searches a year after the launch. Of these, more than 1.8 million vehicles had been identified as affected by the recall.