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SECONDARY RESEARCH FINDINGS THE JAYWALKING EPIDEMIC College students in Austin are notorious for walking dangerously around campus.

SECONDARY RESEARCH FINDINGS PAST CAMPAIGNS Other campaigns dealt directly with preventing death by dangerous pedestrian behavior.

Research shows that many students jaywalk around campus out of convenience. Most

The motivation behind many of these campaigns was to essentially scare pedestrians out

jaywalking occurs when the students are late for class or see other students walking

of jaywalking by showing statistics about auto-pedestrian deaths. The DIRC campaign


(Dangerous, Irresponsible, Reckless and Careless) from the University of Colorado is an

In order to delve deeper into the statistics of pedestrian accidents, we compared the

ideal example of using fear of death to stop pedestrians from participating in dangerous

national statistics to Texas as well as the UT campus. U.S. Department of Transportation

behaviors. DIRC concentrated on the pedestrians themselves rather than the vehicles.

and The National Safety and Highway Administration’s pedestrian crash report shows that

The campaign constructed a realistic and somewhat grotesque pedestrian accident scene

13 pedestrians die in a vehicle crash every day. That is one pedestrian every two hours.

using crushed mannequins as dead bodies complete with caution tape surrounding the

Surprisingly, the majority of these accidents did not involve drinking or speeding. They

area. According to the DIRC officials, they were attempting to change the culture of

were products of negligible driving, distracted pedestrians and simply ignoring traffic

walking and riding bikes around campus.

rules. One of the most shocking statistics showed that Texas was third in the nation for the

The “It’s Up To You” campaign from the city of Chicago also concentrated on the

most pedestrian accidents (Retting & Ferguson 2008). Texas, along with California, Florida

pedestrians. They also wanted to change the culture of walking in the city and make

and New York, makes up about 41 percent of the pedestrian fatalities in the nation. Almost

pedestrians more aware of their behavior. They placed 32 mannequins around the city

three out of four pedestrian fatalities occurred in urban areas like Austin. There have been

sidewalks to represent the 2010 pedestrian deaths. They also used compelling posters with

480 accidents from years 2009-2012 in Austin alone. One-third of the accidents have been

people involved in pedestrian accidents. The tag line was “ In Chicago, over 3,000 people

hit-and-run and are 50 percent over the national rate (National Pedestrian Crash Report

are hit by cars each year,” with a picture of a injured or bed-ridden person and text at the


bottom saying this could be your daughter, son, father, etc. They also placed crossing flags

Weekends also see a higher frequency of jaywalking accidents. Nearly one-half of all pedestrian accidents occurred on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 70 percent of these

and safety signs around the city to create more awareness. The Otis & Dena campaign place their focus on both drivers and pedestrians (Dena

accidents occurred during the night. Nights are ideal for jaywalking and other dangerous

being the pedestrian and Otis being the driver.) Their best known poster campaign

street behaviors because our research found that many pedestrians thought they were

positioned posters with a simple black drawing of a pedestrian and a driver in a car with

less likely to get caught at night (National Pedestrian Crash Report 4-5).

the tagline “Stop B4 the Line,” encouraging cars to stop at crosswalks. These posters were placed on busses, near crosswalks, in restaurant windows and in other locations with


heavy foot traffic in the Pasadena, California area.


PRIMARY RESEARCH FINDINGS The primary research consists of observations, in-depth interviews and a focus group. Each group member separately made observations and interviewed at least two people.

PRIMARY RESEARCH FINDINGS THEME #3 In addition to the time and place influencing a person’s jaywalking habits, seeing

The focus group consisted of nine UT college students from various majors. The discussion

other people jaywalk first greatly influences the student’s decision. In the observations,

of dangerous pedestrian behavior focused on jaywalking specifically around campus.

people tended to jaywalk in groups of people. Sometimes a group of people would be


waiting at the stoplight but once one person decided to jaywalk, many people would

One of the recurring themes in the interviews and focus group was that jaywalking was

follow. Generally, we observed that if one person decided to jaywalk, two to four others

not seen as a major offense. Many of the respondents noted that they jaywalked daily

would follow. In a sense, the concept of “power in numbers” increased the frequency of

especially if they were in a hurry or if it was inconvenient to walk to the nearest crosswalk.

jaywalking. Questioning the interviewees and focus group members about this concept

Several of the people in the focus group admitted they had even jaywalked on their way to

affirmed that they are more likely to jaywalk if they see others do it first. A student in the

the discussion. Seeing the prevalence of jaywalking around campus and hearing students

focus group commented that walking in a group while jaywalking made him feel like there

talk nonchalantly about the frequency of their jaywalking habits shows students generally

was a buffer between him and any car that could hit him. This feeling of group security

do not see jaywalking as a “big deal.” In fact, one of the students remarked that “on

while jaywalking was confirmed by others in the focus group.

campus, pedestrians run the roads…we’re going to cross when we want to.”



The last significant theme that we found in our research was that the students said they

While the previous quote reveals indifference towards jaywalking laws, many of the

would be discouraged from jaywalking if they were fined or saw a jaywalking pedestrian

interviews and comments in the focus group revealed that certain circumstances were

accident or were themselves hit while jaywalking. These three negative incentives were

more ideal for jaywalking than others. Some of the interviewees and focus group members

mentioned by interviewees and those in the focus group. For those who had been fined or

talked about how they were less inclined to jaywalk at night because it would be more

known someone who had been fined for jaywalking, they stopped jaywalking temporarily

dangerous. Another factor that determined if someone was to jaywalk was if there were

but eventually began to jaywalk again. The same applied to those who knew people who

not many cars coming down the street. One of the focus group members talked about

had they themselves had been in a pedestrian-related accidents or had known someone

how she would not jaywalk on 1-35 or anywhere with several lanes or heavy traffic. The

involved in such an accident.

participating students explained that they do not always jaywalk but decide to do so when they perceive that they will be able to make it across the street safely.


Overall, the research showed that students did not truly see the harm in jaywalking as cases of tragic endings are rare. Students do not always jaywalk absentmindedly but many




judge the safety situation before crossing. The “power in numbers” mindset encourages

can affect pedestrian safety. This included asking the participants questions regarding

jaywalking while fines and someone getting hurt discourages jaywalking. Students on

phone use, listening to music and talking with friends. The interviewers also asked the

average, tend to jaywalk out of convenience and due to lack of time, as noted through in-

participants if they knew of any pedestrian-related accidents and the effect that it had

depth interviews and focus groups. The UT campus as well as West Campus seem to be

on them. The interviews and focus group concluded with a discussion on areas around

places where pedestrians rule and especially those in a hurry partake daily in jaywalking

campus where jaywalking is prevalent or where there is a high-risk for pedestrian-related



OUR DISCUSSION GUIDE The interviews and focus group started with asking the participants to state their connotations of dangerous pedestrian behavior and their definition of jaywalking. This discussion then went into the various factors that influence someone’s decision to jaywalk. The focus group members and interviewees divulged when they were most tempted to jaywalk. This segwayed into questions about how frequently jaywalking occurs and if seeing others jaywalk makes them more inclined to do so. The participants were encouraged to share stories and specific scenarios of their jaywalking experiences. After talking about the most probable jaywalking scenarios, the participants were asked about their knowledge of jaywalking fines. Last semester, police officers issued quite a few jaywalking tickets and the campaign team wanted to hear whether the fines caused any behavioral changes. The participants were asked about what they thought would discourage them from jaywalking. This part of the discussion also involved questions regarding what participants worry about when they cross the street. The interviewers asked the participants about their fears or concerns regarding jaywalking and or crossing the street in general. The focus group discussion evolved into questions about general distractions that




CREATIVE BRIEF WHAT’S THE SITUATION? Jaywalking is a common dangerous behavior on UT’s campus and the surrounding area.

WHY ARE WE COMMUNICATING? Under the category of dangerous pedestrian behavior, we found jaywalking to be the most prevalent issue on UT’s campus. We want to prevent death and injury as well as students being fined.

WHAT’S THE OVERALL OBJECTIVE? To change the behavior of students. Students acknowledge that jaywalking is a

WHAT DO WE WANT THEM TO FEEL/ THINK/ DO? We want them to feel like jaywalking is a dangerous and costly offense. We want them to think about the consequences that could come to pass by jaywalking before they jaywalk and therefore walk safely across the street.

WHAT TONE SHOULD WE TAKE? There will be shock value of how much a ticket costs paired against something that most students would like to have (ie, ACL tickets, a couple weeks worth of groceries, Longhorn season football tickets, month of gas, shopping spree, road trip/trip to the beach, 47

dangerous and occasionally lethal habit, however, they do not perceive it as an immediate

Kerbey Lane pancakes, 44 Homeslice pizza slices)

threat and thus continue their behavior. Students seem affected in the short term by injury


but in the long-term, students suggested fines and tickets would be the most influential in

Success will be measured by increased reach. We will conduct measurement studies

discontinuing this habit.

before and after the campaign to test the feelings of people toward jaywalking, their


knowledge and awareness of fines and observational data on how many people actually

The communications objective is to display the inconvenience of getting a ticket for

jaywalk before, during and after the campaign at the crosswalks where we will post our

jaywalking. Because it is such a hefty fine for such a common law break, we want to


communicate to our target that jaywalking is not worth the cost of a ticket, and therefore


help saves lives by discouraging them to jaywalk.

TO WHOM ARE WE TALKING TO (THE TARGET?) College students at the University of Texas at Austin

Would you rather pay $200 for a jaywalking ticket or have one of these other great things? The campaign will focus on the monetary consequences of jaywalking to change behavior.

WHAT DO THEY CURRENTLY FEEL/ THINK/ DO? They currently feel like jaywalking is acceptable and commit the crime daily on their way to class and to different appointments. Because many of them have never been caught jaywalking, they do not think it is a serious offense and feel like because they do it so often, there is no need to stop now. They believe it’s more convenient to jaywalk. 8




JUSTIFICATION OF THE CREATIVE MESSAGE Today’s youth run on the notion that they are bulletproof; as a result, they partake in risky behavior, fully realizing the consequences. A student’s bank account, however, is not to be taken lightly. Financial support from family members and parttime jobs only cover so much of a student’s expenses. Taking this into consideration, we have come up with a campaign of three ads that target popular student spending, specifically in Austin, TX. By presenting jaywalking as a choice, we are giving students the opportunity to think and better understand the monetary consequences of their actions. 10


OR $160 fine




$160 fine




MEDIA STRATEGY The primary objective of the media strategy will be to target students at times and in places in which these students are most likely to see our message and be motivated


to act. Primary research indicated that students jaywalk in campus as well as in West Campus, so the campaign will center on advertising in these targeted areas. Employing the recency effect, messages will be placed at prime intersections within the confines of the university as well as within high foot traffic areas in West Campus. The call-to-action will be prominently displayed at these congested areas, and this strategy will serve to catch pedestrians at the point of their jaywalking decision-making.




$160 fine

Billboards and bus stop messages will display the “You Choose” message on a large scale in high foot traffic areas. The billboard will be located at the intersection of West 24th Street and Rio Grande, diagonally across the street from Cain & Abel’s, a popular student bar. Because 24th is the busiest street in West campus, a billboard placed here will not only function to change walking behaviors at the point of decision, but will also spread awareness to those living in the West Campus area more generally. Bus stops will be wrapped with the “You Choose” message and creative execution in high traffic areas along busy roads such as Guadalupe, Dean Keeton, 24th and 21st. Although many of the people at bus stops will be waiting for buses and thus not jaywalking, many pedestrians walk by these stops on busy roads which will help reinforce the message and increase awareness.



Guerrilla marketing will make up a significant portion of the media budget. The strategy will be to implement signage in areas most frequented by student pedestrians, as indicated by the map on page 14. These signs will have short, one to two line messages





that are easy to read and visually striking in order to attract the attention of college

manner, students can choose to seek out information and join the conversation rather than

students before they decide to cross the street. Signage will be at the eye level of

having to read copy-heavy signage.

pedestrians, making it clear that they are the primary target rather than vehicles. “You

The campaign will also have a presence on mobile devices. Advertisements will be

Choose” messages will also be chalked on the sidewalk at these said intersections, keeping

placed on popular outlets such as Facebook, Spotify and Pandora. Research indicated that

the message at the top-of-mind when pedestrians are making the decision to jaywalk.

many students listen to music on headphones while crossing the street, so the campaign will be place audio advertisements on Spotify and Pandora applications on mobile devices so that pedestrians can be reached while they are on the go at the point of action. The strategy will also employ Facebook display ads, so if students are viewing their phone while walking, they will see the “You Choose” message and be motivated to change their action.

Concentration of media placements by intersection. Red circles indicate areas of heavy pedestrian traffic and increased media insertions

SOCIAL MEDIA & MOBILE APPLICATIONS According to Pew Research, those 18-29 are the most likely to use social media and social networking (Duggan & Brenner, 2013). The college students at the University of Texas fall into this demographic, which is why as part of the overall strategy, social media will be employed. As part of the message of the “You Choose” sidewalk chalk campaign, students will be encouraged to search the hashtag #youchoose on Twitter, which will come up with results providing students with information about jaywalking and pedestrian safety. These messages will be delivered in a visually appealing manner that will focus on clarifying fees related to jaywalking and outlining statistics on pedestrian accidents. In this 14


PUBLIC RELATIONS PLANS Headline: “You Choose” campaign seeks to discourage campus jaywalking The “You Choose” campaign will feature many guerrilla marketing tactics such as bus-

MEASURING SUCCESS OBJECTIVE The main objective of this campaign is to increase awareness of jaywalking fines by 30

stop takeovers, chalk messages on the ground by busy intersections and signage across

percent plus a 30 percent decrease in the number of jaywalkers.. The simplest way of

campus. These tactics are newsworthy and will attract the attention of students and the

measuring this is to speak directly to the pedestrians before they cross the street.

press. We will pitch press releases to all local print media. Another way to increase public


relations and buzz throughout the campus will be to have “You Choose” representatives

The campaign team will place posters with the “You Choose” slogan around the busiest

on busy crosswalks such as in front of the Co-op on Guadalupe and on the Dean Keeton

campus crosswalks and streets. This includes Dean Keaton, Guadalupe and 21st street.

and Whitis intersection handing out food such as pizza. There will be signage showing that

These areas have heavy foot traffic and are usually jaywalking hotspots. Before posting

the cost of the provided pizza equals the cost of a jaywalking ticket. This outreach effort

these signs around campus, team members will watch the area for about two hours and

fits with the message that instead of jaywalking and getting an expensive fine, there is so

record how many people jaywalk. Members will also speak with individual pedestrians to

much else to gain such as multiple slices of pizza or cold beverages.

learn about any previous knowledge about jaywalking risks and fines.

STARTING A MOVEMENT The “You Choose” campaign’s visible presence throughout University of Texas’ campus will help increase awareness and create buzz throughout campus and the city of Austin.

After posters are up, the team will once again observe the area for two hours and record whether pedestrians stop after reading our signs. The next step is to interview the pedestrians again to see if the signs made them think before crossing the street.

We believe the shock value of the campaign will also create buzz throughout the city and around the campaign. Having representatives handing out free refreshments and food will make the campaign come to life for college students. This outreach will show them the benefits of not jaywalking. The press will be drawn to feature the campaign because it has shock value, is involved with campus and will help prevent people from getting tickets and aim to minimize pedestrian jaywalking deaths. This effort focuses on positive reinforcement to draw attention to the jaywalking epidemic on campus.



BIBLIOGRAPHY Daniel, S., Jr. 1982. The role of the vehicle front end in pedestrian impact protection (SAE 820246). Pedestrian Safety (PT-112), 99-112. Warrendale, PA: Society of Automotive Engineers. Duggan, Maeve & Brenner, Joanna (2013, Feb 14). Social Networking Site Users. Pew Internet. Retrieved from Retting, R.A.; Ferguson, S.A.; and McCartt, A.T. 2003. A review of evidence-based traffic engineering measures to reduce pedestrian-motor vehicle crashes. American Journal of Public Health. 93:1456-63.


You Choose Campaign  

A campaign plan to reduce the amount of jaywalking on campus.

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