We have a challenge: to join together and form part of the United Nations awareness-raising campaign on how observing the correct speed limits on the roads can help save lives. We have an objective: to get people from Fundación MAPFRE and MAPFRE to share with us why we all need to cut down on our speeding. We have a dream: to make this a personal mission for everyone.

TEXT: PAULA SUSAETA     IMAGES: #SLOWDOWN

“Every day we have good reasons to go somewhere important, whether we leave our homes for work, school or play. However, getting safely to where we are going is as important as getting there at all.”
In this way the United Nations launched the #SlowDown campaign urging organizations and citizens to sign up. The guidelines for action had been available on the website  https://www. unroadsafetyweek.org/en/home for some months, as things run much more smoothly when planned in advance.

Fundación MAPFRE took up the challenge and set about getting many individuals and departments involved, collaborating to achieve one single objective. In the process, it proved essential to listen to each other and decide on how to address each person within MAPFRE and Fundación MAPFRE in order to attract their interest
and attention..

This is a tale of the enthusiasm of a great many people around the world who came together to support a cause that saves lives, with the goal of making a great impact and, why not, feel part of a truly human – yet also really useful – message. We were seeking the involvement of everyone at different levels. Each person had to decide what the reason was for asking for speed to be controlled and reduced.

These individual messages were turned into images, the images into video clips, and these clips became the cornerstone of the launch and closure of the week-long campaign in the social media profiles of MAPFRE and Fundación MAPFRE. Throughout the week, the two videos prompted the publication of comments on the subject and, as the United Nations was doing, each person was invited to share their reason to #SlowDown from their personal profile.

The ultimate goal was to raise awareness among the public regarding the importance of reducing speed to prevent traffic accidents. Accidents currently take 1.3 million lives each year and leave 50 million injured all round the world. This was more than enough reason for everyone to make the message their own.

 

This is a tale of the enthusiasm of a great many people around the world who came together to support a cause that saves lives

 

As always in such cases, the preparations were pure turmoil with global coordination. As though it were a premiere, there we were, calendar in hand, confirming and re-confirming delivery dates, materials received, their technical suitability…

This translated into universal images, messages in English, Spanish and Portuguese (this was not asked for, but the messages arrived in these languages, seeking above all else the most direct communication possible), friendly smiles and gestures in every photograph revealing the empathy of each individual, with personal qualities clearly outshining the professional side.

The reality exceeded our expectations, producing some really special moments: the supremely natural quality of the group photos, given that everyone wanted to be photographed with their colleagues, the amount of material received, infinite recounts, but, above all else, the messages. From the most personal referring to the little ones, clearly thinking about the future generations, to the most intimate – yet, at the same time, global – ones, such as the simple Save Lives signboards of the campaign itself.

The feeling of forming part of something bigger, with more strength and repercussion, is one of the hallmarks of this action. Letting the message take center stage, joining forces and setting aside individuality. Sharing the enthusiasm of adding something and, perhaps, making a difference, with such a simple warning as how easy it is to lose your life in a second, and how easy it is also to prevent this by paying a little attention.

So, thank you. Thank you all for the time spent, for your zeal, for the great rush. For the care put into each step and the enthusiasm. For the shared endeavor and confidence.

For you, for me, for all of us. And for those who, like us, in other parts of the world joined #SlowDown to prevent the loss of life on our city streets and highways. Because it is the journey that is always worthwhile, and the surprise and the best things are always around the corner.

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