Since launch in January 2010, the advert quickly became a worldwide viral smash, gathering over 11.8million views on YouTube alone in ten months. Created to raise awareness of the importance of wearing a seatbelt, Embrace Life was deliberately developed to provide a counter-point to the hard-hitting 'shock and awe' advertising so common to road safety. The very name of the film reflects its focus on life rather than the death and injury often associated with car crashes.
The campaign has scooped a wide range of awards, including YouTube Ad of the Year, a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award, Gold World Medal, New York International Advertising Awards; a Bronze Lion at the Cannes International Advertising Awards; Highly Commended from the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation and the advert was also featured in the Advertising Producers Award (APA) 2010 collection.
The lack of dialogue means Embrace Life is accessible to all viewers, no matter what nationality. Once it was put on to the internet it rapidly spread around the globe, gaining over a million views in its first two weeks. By 10 February 2010 international interest in licensing the film for broadcasting on national or province/state TV channels had resulted in enquiries from some Persian Gulf countries, from Brazil, France, Ontario in Canada and from four states in the USA. By 13 February 2010 it had reached 129 different countries, was the 5th top rated video that month on YouTube and was the most top rated YouTube film of all time in the education category.
Producer Sarah Alexander joined the project and immediately was faced with the challenge of the logistics of bringing Cox's vision to fruition. He specifically wanted slow-motion photography, requiring state of the art camera technology and 93,000 watts of lighting required by the high-speed filming.
"I wanted to create a visual metaphor addressing how a single decision in a person's day can greatly influence both their own and their loved ones' lives. Choosing to film the story inside the family living room represents the feelings many people equate with their own car, in that it represents a level of safety and protection from the 'outer' world. So to create the emotion of this dramatic moment, I wanted to tell the story using slow motion to allow the audience the time to be drawn into the film's world and to let them connect with and project their own feelings onto the scenario playing out before them. I wanted to give the audience the time to breathe, to absorb our message and using slow motion was the right technique to allow this to happen." (Daniel Cox)
"It was a real honour to work with Daniel Cox. His vision and genius to bring together such a complex and important message was breathtaking. His ability to reduce the message to such simple terms that all viewers could relate to is refreshing in this day and age of shock and awe advertising tactics. Daniel Cox and Sarah Alexander are a shining example of what can be done with film in these modern times and that any message no matter how big or small can be in reaching distance of the viewer if dealt with simplicity and honesty." (Austin Spangler).
CARPOOL - Shooting people, Wildcard, Short list Award.
LOCKED -Thematic Film: Public awareness award at the Scottish Arts & Film Festival. Directed by Claire Gellard.