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The importance of fear reduction in fear-based road safety advertising appeals.

Algie, J

Communication

2011

Road safety advertisers need to include fear reduction in fearbased advertisements to improve road safety behavioural outcomes. When designing advertisements containing relief components to reinforce safe driving attitudes and practices, there should be greater emphasis on formative research, such as pre-testing advertising concepts to ensure the correct advertising execution is achieved. Defining and selecting target audiences on current attitudes and behaviours, such as offenders (brand loyals), conformers (other brand loyals) and vacillators (switchers), is recommended. Finally, moving beyond the simplistic categorization of fear-based advertising according to ‘levels’ of fear to a new focus on ‘patterns’ of fear, which requires the inclusion of a ‘fear reduction’ mechanism, should increase the effectiveness of road safety advertising.