Cannes Lions

Be Safe Be Late


Case Film
Presentation Image
Case Film






Safety and saving lives are one of Volvo’s core objectives. The brand is dedicated to improving the safety of not only the car and those who drive it, but of all road users we share the public space with.

However, safety is becoming more and more a commodity; claimed by different car brands that introduce similar safety innovations. If we want to continue to claim thought leadership on this domain, we need to keep refreshing this association. Making it meaningful for people by creating a societal dimension to safety that goes beyond the car features and makes an impact on the life of every road user.

Our mission was to strengthen Volvo’s safety leadership through an awareness campaign that would not only be seen by many but would also have the potential to become a conversation starter that could spark the societal debate and change our perception on road safety.


September marks the start of a new school year. Where everyone has to rediscover their place in an environment that’s getting much more crowded with different road users sharing the same space.

Needless to say, this brings a lot of stress to everyone one the road, not in the least to parents. The combination of a new routine, dropping off the kids and getting to work on time makes this day extra stressful.

That’s why we created “Be safe, Be late”. An activation in which Volvo invites all companies to allow their employees to be late at work during the first day of school in order to create a safer traffic environment for our children. To convince our audience, we let the children themselves do the talking through impactful portraits in which they call the audience to turn the most stressful day into the safest day of the year.


Road safety is more than just infrastructure or driving a safe car. It’s also about those who drive the car. Drivers who suffer from work-related stress are more likely to speed and take other risks while driving, and more likely to be involved in serious crashes. This led to the insight that if we can eliminate driver stress, we can make the roads safer for everyone.

In collaboration with VIAS (the Belgian institute for road safety) we’ve conducted a research that shows that stress is the cause of 50% of all road accidents. Furthermore, the research also indicated that drivers are (25%) more stressed on the first day of school compared to other days. The root cause of this increased stress was found by parents needing to be at work on time and the mental pressure that came with it. Making it clear we should focus on removing this stress.


We launched the campaign a few weeks before the first day of school. Presenting our research findings to the press in which the CEO of Volvo Belgium announced the campaign along with a statement that both Volvo dealerships and the Volvo factory in Ghent would start later during the first day of school, calling all Belgium companies to follow this example.

The announcement was promoted through a paid social campaign, followed by campaign material targeted to both employers and employees. Companies were directly contacted through personalized direct mailings. POS material at dealerships and partnerships with parent influencers made sure our campaign was heard by everyone.

To maximise the momentum during the first day of school, radio commercials were broadcasted during morning and OOH’s were installed on the most important traffic junctions in Belgium. On top of that, we achieved editorial coverage on all radio morning shows nationwide on September 1st.


More than 200 companies participated in the campaign, sending the ‘Be safe, be late’ message to more than 30.000 employees through a personalized toolkit they could use to run the campaign in their company. This included email signatures, mail templates, OOO messages, flyers etc.

On top of our paid media campaign that ran on all social channels, our message was also supported by Volvo dealerships and parent influencers who actively promoted the action and participated through their own channels. Thanks to this approach, we managed to reach 1.7M parents with this very important message.

But reaching our audience was not enough. By sending out traffic experts and Volvo spokespersons, we also caught the attention of the press and were present on all radio morning shows nationwide. putting the campaign right at the heart of popular culture and generating a nationwide discussion of how our work-life balance affects road safety.

Similar Campaigns

4 items

2 Eurobest Awards
Volvo Street Configurator


Volvo Street Configurator


(opens in a new tab)