behaviour change

Women’s Aid: 'Look At Me' interactive billboard


World-first visually powered interactive billboard campaign targets domestic violence.

The thinking behind the attention-grabbing ‘Look at me’ interactive billboard in London reflects the messaging it aims to get across to the public.

As part of a Women’s Aid campaign to ‘open our eyes’ to the fact one quarter of women are affected by domestic violence, the interactive billboard uses innovative facial recognition and gaze tracking technology to detect when people stop and look at the screen.

When they do, the woman’s beaten and bruised face begins to heal. Swelling subsides, bruising disappears. The more people stop and look, the more the woman’s face returns to a healthy state.

The campaign aims to show that we can all help end domestic violence just by taking notice of the issue, rather than ‘turning a blind eye’.

The WCRS campaign has won more than 20 awards, including gold at Cannes.

Hit play and see for yourself.


Campaign Catalogue


Interactive Billboards


Advertising Agency:


All of us at Hard Edge have been inspired to focus our future on helping brands and organisations make the world a better place through thinking and creative that shifts behaviour and positively impacts society.

If that sounds like you, we'd love to help.  
Want to chat? 
Email or call us on +61 3 9245 9245.

Bridging the behaviour gaps on our roads


Are we failing to keep up with a fast-paced, ever changing world with disjointed, unrealistic expectations of human behaviour? The rate of progression and innovation has never been greater. With that comes education gaps in how things work, what’s expected of us, and what our behaviours should be to live in safety and harmony as members of society.

While innovation attempts to improve our lives, it can come with frustrations and risks. With great new options at our fingertips can also come distraction, annoyance and impatience. With the roads filled with driver assist technologies, and automated vehicle technology looming, it is a melting pot for driver behaviour. We are at a dangerous crossroad of handing control of the driving task to the vehicle rather than being in control ourselves. The evidence base for distracted driving has failed to keep up with technological developments, according to Future of Transport Head of Impairment Research, Dr Paul Jackson, and Head of Behavioural Science, Dr Neale Kinnear. I couldn’t agree more.

Operating on auto-pilot

As we move towards higher levels of autonomy in vehicles, there are too many assumptions about the fidelity and safety of autonomous features without education and experience in operating these vehicles. We’ve all heard the story of the driver who switched on cruise control in their motor home and went and made a cup of coffee. Yes, it drove off the road. Okay, so slightly humorous in retrospect and a little stupid perhaps, but this kind of ‘auto-pilot’ driving, in this day and age, can mean literally that. Learning a new app on our phones is very different to learning our vehicle’s operating features as the complexity of driving and the potential risks still remain.

Re:act is a student road safety initiative of our agency in collaboration with universities. The Re:act topic for last year was safety around trucks. As the students (who clearly hadn’t thought much about this topic in their daily lives) reported, there is only one question in the learner’s handbook on this topic and a 6% chance of being tested on it. According to Ben Maguire, CEO of the Australian Trucking Association, the freight task in Australia will increase by 52% by 2036. There is also billions of dollars worth of transport infrastructure occurring over the next decade. The Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel build alone will add a truck and trailer to Melbourne’s CBD traffic every 3 minutes for 5½ years. Are we preparing our youth, the future on the roads, to be equipped for it?

A tribal or sharing mindset?

In recent years, I have noticed how complex it is to instil a “shared systems” mindset on our roads. We are all a pedestrian, often a driver, and sometimes a cyclist. As we move from one to another, an understanding of the other is often quickly forgotten and our behaviours as a driver do not fit that of the cyclist we were just moments ago. Road user groups can be tribal and when we shift modes so does our focus and allegiance. Just recently, researchers at three Australian universities examined traffic psychology and behaviour and found that around half of non-cyclists viewed cyclists as “less than fully human”, with some admitting to purposely having driven close to cyclists. Scary isn’t it? We conducted research last year with focus groups of young people who viewed truck drivers on the road as tough and scary, but when the context is changed to a social setting such as a barbecue, they are perceived very differently: as friendly, down-to-earth blokes.

So many things contribute to this thinking. While road safety education is about respect and sharing the road, what we observe from our parents, friends, and others on the roads is of great influence. Then there’s us. We have so much going on in our lives today. We must be at point B as fast as possible, not allowing that extra car to merge, being first off at the lights, and taking risks for no gain other than some ill-founded sense of progression inside. We must always be contactable and in communication with others. Our personal bubble is more pronounced than ever.

A melting pot

While I have raised two separate points in this article – innovation and education, and perceptions and shared systems – it has been to highlight that, more than ever, our roads are a melting pot of innovation, education gaps, and a tribal mentality. When you consider them all, it becomes apparent how mammoth a task instilling a shared responsibility on our roads is. There are many passionate road safety professionals doing their bit to make us safer but, at the end of the day, it’s up to us as individuals. We all have a role to play.

With this year’s Re:act topic focusing on defining a simple “shared system” message to vulnerable road users and drivers, I hope our youth can help unravel the mystery of making that message stick when behind the wheel, on a bike, or crossing the road, to help make our roads safer. Their increased awareness will have a ripple effect among their own personal networks, which is one small step towards the greater good. As Re:act grows, I hope this ripple can grow to have a tangible impact on our challenges and behaviours on a much broader scale.

All of us at Hard Edge have been inspired to focus our future on helping brands and organisations make the world a better place through thinking and creative that shifts behaviour and positively impacts society.

Email or call us on +61 3 9245 9245.

‘Having an impact, without impact’: virtual billboard changes behaviour on our roads.


It’s pretty hard for a campaign to grab my attention these days. But this interactive road safety billboard from Paris really caught my eye (and certainly got the attention of the target audience).

The interactive billboard aims to make careless pedestrians realise the dangers of their behaviour. The smart billboard – equipped with a motion detector, speaker and cameras – mimics the sound of screeching tyres when a pedestrian crosses the road while the ‘little red man’ is illuminated. The frightened faces of these pedestrians are then instantly projected directly onto the billboard alongside the caption: ‘Don’t risk looking death in the face. Respect traffic lights before crossing the road.’ 

A brilliant campaign and perfect execution. Hit play and see for yourself.


Campaign Posters


Interactive Billboards


Advertising Agency:
Serviceplane France 


All of us at Hard Edge have been inspired to focus our future on helping brands and organisations make the world a better place through thinking and creative that shifts behaviour and positively impacts society.

If that sounds like you, we'd love to help.  
Want to chat? 
Email or call us on +61 3 9245 9245.

Four steps to shifting behaviour for good (and for better)


There are many ways success is measured – and investment justified – in the marketing world. How do we know our (client’s) money has been well spent and we can all pat ourselves on the back at the end of a campaign or project? Audience reach, engagement, increased awareness, sales, share, and so on.

When it comes to behaviour change initiatives, similar measures can be relevant. But there is one measure that transcends simple campaign metrics and is the ultimate test of success in behaviour change initiatives. I’m talking about social acceptability, or unacceptability – the point when a certain behaviour change initiative reaches a tipping point and becomes largely self-policed by society. Consider driving without a seatbelt, not picking up after your dog, smoking while pregnant, littering. Once commonplace, these behaviours have since reached a point of social unacceptability through various behaviour change methods, programs, tools and campaigns. Nowadays, anyone caught in the act of any of these behaviours can expect anything ranging from serious ‘stink eye’ to a public scolding, even the wrath of law enforcement.

Effective behaviour change initiatives are no simple task and rarely, if ever, a quick win. Our behaviours are usually habitual and deeply ingrained, shaped by our family and friends, social norms and culture, among other things.

So how do we go about achieving this holy grail of behaviour change success? What are the steps involved? What can we achieve as a creative industry? And where do we need to leverage the strengths of other industries, organisations and parties?

There are many behaviour change theories and methodologies out there. We boil our recipe for behaviour change success down to four steps: Educate. Motivate. Facilitate. Sustain.


If we want people to change their behaviour around a particular issue, they obviously need to be aware of that issue. But more than awareness, they need an accurate understanding of the issue and the correct behaviours they should be displaying. We all know we should be recycling, and broadly the reasons why. But do we understand how to recycle correctly? Which waste goes where? What happens once it leaves our kerb? What impact it has on the environment? Education is a vital step in ensuring we are not just aware of the issue but genuinely understand what we should be doing, how we should be doing it, and the reasons why.  


Once the audience know what they should be doing, and why and how they should be doing it, we need to motivate them to shift their behaviour accordingly. This is about building a genuine desire to address the issue and a willingness to change the way they behave that is strong enough to overcome barriers to change. Strategy and creativity play a big part here as we need to connect with the audience on an emotive level to drive them to want to take action. This requires an intimate understanding of the target audience, their drivers and their pain points; not just in relation to the particular behaviour we are trying to change, but generally.


Facilitating behaviour change is all about removing barriers – actual or perceived – to change and making it as easy as possible for us to change our behaviour in the moments and environments that matter. These barriers can be as simple as forgetting what you’re meant to be doing, or not doing. Think about when you’re driving on the freeway and your speed creeps up over the limit; the alert most modern cars give is a prime example of a tool to facilitate immediate behaviour change through prompting. Prompts and alerts can be found on food packaging, through health star ratings for example, to ensure we’re reminded (and in some cases educated) about whether what we are putting in the trolley is helping or hindering our dietary goals.

Cost is another potential barrier to behaviour change. People may understand why and how to change their behaviour and may have a genuine desire to do so but if it’s going to leave them financially worse off, that’s a massive barrier for most of us. I’m sure we all fully endorse the virtues of renewable energy and support an energy system that is renewable, secure and affordable. The education and motivation to switch to renewable energy is there. However, the cost of setting up and running a cost-efficient renewable energy system in our home can be a barrier to making the change. The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme was set up for this very reason; to provide a financial incentive for individuals, families and small businesses to install renewable energy systems, helping them overcome financial barriers and facilitating greater change to clean energy.


If it’s not sustained, achieving ‘one-off’ behaviour change is rarely a mark of success. Sustaining correct behaviours can be achieved in many ways, and is typically reliant on a number of different parties and organisations. From a campaign or program point of view, we can sustain behaviour change by continuing communication activities to motivate and facilitate behaviour change among the target audience. We can then look to industry-specific products and services relevant to particular behaviours to find ways of facilitating behaviour change (e.g. the speed limit or seatbelt alert in our cars). There’s the vital role of policy, legislation and enforcement. These have been a major driver in sustaining behaviour change in fields like road safety (speeding, drink driving and now mobile phone use) and will have an increasing role in sustaining behaviour change relating to sustainability and the natural environment as these issues become increasingly critical. And then, of course, there’s the enforcement of socially acceptable behaviours by our friends, family and communities. In most cases, this is not only the most powerful driver of behaviour change but the strongest indicator of success for behaviour change programs.

As our understanding of the world around us continues to grow, so too innovations increasingly provide new opportunities to make this understanding accessible to the masses. So while the world may at times seem like it’s a bit up the creek, we are in the best position we’ve ever been to leverage knowledge and innovation to affect behaviour change. By taking a human approach to gaining a deep understanding of the problems we need to solve, and building clear strategies that educate, motivate and facilitate sustained behaviour change, we can help make a better world and promising future.


All of us at Hard Edge have been inspired to focus our future on helping brands and organisations make the world a better place through thinking and creative that shifts behaviour and positively impacts society.

If that sounds like you, we'd love to help.  
Want to chat? 
Email or call us on +61 3 9245 9245.