Boy racers are a danger in West Auckland and Waitakere City Council (now Auckland Council) wanted to do something about it. So, on the most miniscule of budgets, Ogilvy found a way to lure boy racers into a situation where they could be shocked on hearing the consequences of their dangerous driving behaviour.
Ogilvy put a boy racer’s dream performance car up for sale for a third of its normal value. To attract buyers they drove it around the streets of Waitakere with sale details on the rear windscreen, ran homemade classified ads, put the sale on online trading sites and distributed ‘homemade’ posters around the city.
The ads directed propsective buyers to the car owner’s answering machine – a voicemail message hosted by a telecom company. On that voicemail the owner talked about his experience with the car, a raw first-hand account of a fatal street racing accident in which he killed a six year old girl.
Over two weeks more than 1200 callers heard the message and 400 messages were left in reply by would-be buyers offering sympathy and regret. The car owner’s story (and the reaction) was later provided to the media and picked up widely with more than $250,000 of media coverage drawing attention to the dangers of boy racers. All for the cost of just $950.