distracted driving

Marketsmith, NJ Department of Law & Public Safety Collaborate on Awareness Campaign

Cedar Knolls-based Marketsmith Inc., the largest independent full-service marketing agency in New Jersey, in collaboration with the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety (“LPS”), has launched a statewide “Take Control of Your Destiny” advertising campaign. The goal is to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, a contributing factor in more than half of moderate to severe crashes involving teen drivers nationwide.

The campaign and its slogan, “You Have Places to Go. Don’t Drive Distracted,” began during April’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and runs through August 2021 to raise recognition of the dangers of risky behind-the-wheel behaviors like texting, chatting on handheld cell phones, eating, and applying makeup. Driving fatalities in New Jersey rose 4.8% in 2020 (from 2019) despite there being fewer drivers on the road due to COVID-19.

The Take Control of Your Destiny campaign was inspired by CowParade, the world’s largest and most successful public art event. Marketsmith adapted the campaign, creating several unique “painted steering wheels” to represent different aspirations, dreams, passions and love. The wheels are marked with sayings including, “Saving even one person affects so many lives.”

Marketsmith’s digital ads are now on display in rest stops along the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway. The campaign also utilizes social media platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, as well as advertisements on Pandora radio.

Marketsmith’s messaging also leverages alarming but crucial statistics, including that 60% of drivers use cell phones while behind the wheel, and 49% of drivers under the age of 35 send or read text messages while driving. It also includes reaction-time comparisons, such as a five-second distraction at 55 miles per hour equates to driving the length of a football field, blindfolded.

“Marketsmith is committed to building a movement to end distracted driving in New Jersey, and we are proud to be the agency of record for this important effort. And the ‘road’ won’t end there. We won’t stop until participation is nationwide,” said Marketsmith CEO and Founder Monica C. Smith. “We welcome drivers of all ages to join the Take Control of Your Destiny movement and share your commitment to being responsible behind the wheel.”

“Take Control of Your Destiny isn’t simply about what you should do behind the wheel. It’s about everything you have to look forward to when you do. It honors the beauty of our individual dreams and recognizes that we all have the potential to achieve them,” added Smith. “Whether it’s sharing your musical talent or embracing your retirement, when you take responsibility behind the wheel, you are taking responsibility for your own destiny and those of everyone around you.”

A digital toolkit of resources is available in English and Spanish on the LPS Division of Highway Traffic Safety’s “Take Control Of Your Destiny” webpage. The resources, including sharable graphics, informational palm cards, and a distracted driving fact sheet, are meant to be shared widely across the state.

In addition to its work on the LPS campaign, Marketsmith also represents other prominent clients in New Jersey, including: the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance – Get Covered N.J., New Jersey’s Official Healthcare Insurance Marketplace, N.J. Lottery, PSE&G N.J., and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ Clean Energy Program.

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