Public Shaming

The shock tactic often used in advertising and marketing campaigns is taking a new route under graphic designer Brian Singer. Singer calls the project Texting While in Traffic, TWIT for short, and takes photographs of people while they are texting and driving and posts them to his website. In addition, he has been paying out of pocket to post the photographs on billboards in San Francisco. The idea behind the project? Simple. Singer wants to draw more attention to the prevalence of texting while behind the wheel and publicly shame drivers into quitting the dangerous habit.
I think that this idea is definitely a good one. We have all seen anti-smoking campaigns with interviews of long-time smokers who are dealing with serious medical issues, and we have all seen texting and driving in a much more violent scene; drivers actually getting into accidents. I like this campaign because it is so real and is actually calling individual drivers out and guilt-tripping them into stopping. I think that creating advertisements that are much more specific to the target audience can be much more effective because the audience is going to be much more aware of the campaign if they become a part of it.
I sincerely hope that this campaign lifts off and larger companies start buying the idea from Brian Singer. People are becoming numb to more and more advertisements, and I think that more campaigns need to take this kind of approach. You draw attention to the message behind the campaign when real people are actually brought into it, and that is how it is remembered.


Nudd, T. (n.d.). San Francisco Billboards Shame Drivers With Actual Photos of Them Texting. Adweek. Adweek. Retrieved march 27, 2014, from

One thought on “Public Shaming

  1. I also think this idea is great! However, I am wondering if there are any legal consequences. If someone’s image is used without permission and published to a website, I’m not sure that it’s legal. But it seems like a fairly effective campaign as long as it has the awareness to make it popular.


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