Textile artists rethink safety vests to help fight transport worker abuse in new campaign for Dept. of Transport + Planning via Clemenger BBDO
In recent years, Victoria has seen an increase in verbal abuse of its frontline workers. At the same time, psychologists have proven that we treat other people better once we know more about them. So, to raise awareness for the issue of transport worker abuse and to help reduce it, Australian textile artists were commissioned to bring transport workers’ personal stories to life through artwork embroidered onto their safety vests in a new project via Clemenger BBDO.
The project, ‘Hi-vis Humanity’, aims to help protect workers, by asking passengers to see the people behind the uniforms. The vests featured in the campaign reflect the personal stories of four transport workers—a refugee, gold medalist, domestic violence survivor and father of young children.
The highly personalised, reflective safety vests were crafted by renowned Australian textile artists Kait James, Sharon Peoples, Ruth De Vos and Susie Vickery. The artists used reflective thread and fabric to maintain the existing safety attributes of the workers’ hi-vis vests—while large reflective panels on the back of the vests also feature the workers’ written stories.
“It’s not often that we look beyond the person performing a service, however it’s something we need to do more of,” artist Susie Vickery said—noting how fascinated she was with the workers’ stories and bringing them to life through embroidery.
The vests will be displayed across Victoria’s public transport network through outdoor advertising around public transport stations and stops while films online and on social media will expand upon the workers’ stories.
Says Tristan Graham, ECD, Clemenger BBDO: “Once you hear these incredibly personal and powerful stories from public transport workers, you can’t help but view them differently. Even for those of us working on the campaign, the impact was instant and profound. I can’t wait to see the positive change the vests have in the real world,” Clemenger BBDO ECD Tristan Graham said.
The campaign is live in market on Monday 16 October.
Client: Department of Transport & Planning
Agency: Clemenger BBDO
Chief Creative Officer: Jim Curtis
Executive Creative Director: Tristan Graham
Group Creative Director: Ant Phillips
National Traffic Manager: Karen Kushinsky
Art Director: Zoe Perrin
Copywriter: Riana McKenzie
Craft Designer: Ant Yee
Senior Producer: Lisa Moro
Managing Director: Julian Bell
Strategy Partner: Mike Ronkoske
Group Business Director: Ben Peachell
Senior Business Manager: Elyse Paone
Artists (vest creation):
Ruth de Vos
Production Company: Clemenger Studios
DOP: Hossein Khodabandehloo bin Abolfazl
B Camera Operator: Lewis Rodan
Production Producer: Elizabeth Rocka
Editor: Andrew Packer
Editor: Sam Coates
Sound Engineer: Robbie Balatincz
Photographer: Ryan Wheatley
Retoucher: Gabrielle Hughs