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Maruti Suzuki straps on your seat belt with #PehniKya

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MUMBAI: Road accidents and fatalities are a national concern. According to the recent Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MRTH) data, not wearing seat belts resulted in 5,638 fatalities during 2016. Fifty percent of these fatalities could be prevented through use of seat belts, an important safety device often ignored by car users in India. A recent study by Maruti Suzuki conducted with Kantar Group (Millward Brown and IMRB) reveals seat belt usage rate is as low as 25 per cent in India.

To address the issue, Maruti Suzuki India has recently rolled out a nationwide social campaign to create awareness and promote seat belt use among drivers and passengers.

Maruti Suzuki senior executive director RS Kalsi says, “Seat belt is one of the most effective safety equipment in a car. Studies by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), USA, show that if an occupant is not wearing a seat belt in a vehicle equipped with airbags, the airbags may actually cause more harm in the event of a crash. At the same time, with the new safety regulations, more cars in India will come equipped with airbags. This makes the usage of seat belts even more critical.”

Called #PehniKya, conceived by Happy mcgarrybowen, a unit of Dentsu Aegis Network, it focuses on driving this behaviour change among car users in India. The high impact 360-degree integrated campaign by Maruti Suzuki comprises print, TVC, radio, digital and on-ground activations.

The emotionally resonant TVC for ‘#PehniKya?’ is centred on a kid trying to stop his father from driving his car, because his father is not in the habit of wearing the seat belt. The TVC is currently being played on major television channels in India spanning the genres of news, movies, etc.

He added, “Lack of awareness of seat belt as a safety device, lack of encouragement from family and friends, and weak law enforcement were among the key reasons for non-usage. Through this campaign, we aim to encourage car occupants to wear their seat belts.” 

Happy mcgarrybowen chief creative officer and MD PM Praveen Das mentions, “We were very excited to work on their latest campaign on the seat belt initiative. Drawing from research, we decided to keep the message simple and thought-provoking, thus was born #PehniKya? Another key insight that was validated by research was that people would be far more impacted if the message came from a family member. Hence, the construct of the TVC. The film captures the simple emotion of love of a son for his father.”

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