Design students inspire at Hard Edge with trucking fantastic road safety concepts.


April is always an exciting month on the Hard Edge calendar as another throng of Swinburne University of Technology communication design students descend on the agency to pitch their responses to the annual Re:act brief.

For the uninitiated, Re:act is a project where we give a real world campaign brief around a social issue to third year design students and challenge them to raise awareness and change behaviour among the 18-25 year old audience.

We’ve been running Re:act for three years in collaboration with Swinburne and with the support of a great group of industry partners who share our passion for road safety:  the TAC, RACV, Melbourne Metro Rail Authority, Transurban, the Australian Trucking Association, the National Road Safety Partnership Program and ARRB Group.

Every year we’re mightily impressed by the strategic thinking, creativity and professionalism of the students’ pitches. And what we saw earlier this week was no different – maybe even the best yet.    



This year’s Re:act brief focused on the safe interaction of 18-25 year old road users with trucks. With the number of trucks on our roads growing and major infrastructure projects like the Melbourne Metro Tunnel increasingly bringing heavy vehicles into our cities, we’ll all be interacting with trucks a lot more – whether in the car, on foot or on bike. The brief asked students to develop a campaign to educate the target audience on the risks of sharing the road with trucks and to positively influence their behaviour to reduce crashes and ‘near misses’ with trucks.  

After an initial briefing and Q&A, 10 groups of students developed and then pitched their campaigns to us at Hard Edge and our industry partners.

With an impressive range of concepts from all groups, choosing our finalists was no easy task.

“Size Matters” (Runners-up)

Meg Danaher, Ken Smith and Karl Rombauts highlighted the power of humour in achieving cut through and engagement with the target audience with their “Size Matters” campaign. Aside from presenting a great cheeky concept, the standard of design work, strategic thinking and the breadth and quality of activation ideas the team produced was seriously impressive. Remember their names – Meg, Ken and Karl – these guys are going places.   



“Don’t Truck Around” (Winners)

This year’s winning pitch drew on audience insights to deliver a hard-hitting call to action to 18-25 year old road users. Caitlin Preyser, Charlotte Hicks and Grace Kirby created a bold typographic visual concept, with a range of creative executions to communicate the risks of sharing the road with trucks and provide clear advice on how to stay safe around them. It was pretty trucking good. Congratulations Caitlin, Charlotte and Grace.

These are just two examples of the 10 great campaigns that were presented at Re:act 2018. Hats off and big props to all the students involved. It’s safe to say the future of our creative industry is in safe and very talented hands.




Hard Edge is a tight team of strategic thinkers, creatives and doers. We help brands discover their value and find their voice. Want to chat? Email or call us on +61 3 9245 9245.