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Dangerous safety: Extreme articulations in car advertising and implications for safety campaigns.
The paper presents focus group discussions of two popular SUV television advertisements which emphasised fun and extreme sports, through off-road scenes. Safety was a perceived message of the ads and varying degrees of consideration were given by participants to the implications for on-road driving of the association with extreme sports. There was little awareness or discussion of the possible impact of particular driving styles shown in the ads on safety in complex traffic situations, even though the ads had clear implications for on-road driving. The responses to the ads represent social and cultural rather than purely individual views of driving practices and resonate with the intention of the advertisers showing the diversity of identifications with cars. Campaigns need to address these themes through a holistic perspective emphasising the good of society as opposed to manufacturers’ desires to increase sales by appealing to and reinforcing expectations of greater speed, power and performance.