News & Views

AT&T / From One Second to the Next

by Contagious Team

Telco's documentary shows consequences of texting while driving

Acclaimed film maker Werner Herzog has directed a thirty-minute film for telco AT&T, bringing viewers face to face with the victims and perpetrators of life-changing accidents caused by texting while driving. 

From One Second to the Next
 tells the stories of four such incidents, described in heartbreaking detail by the people most affected: the drivers, victims and witnesses left trying to cope with the devastation caused by an instant of distraction.

Herzog's unflashy direction focuses the viewer's attention on these people and the palpable intensity of their experiences. The tension, shock and injustice resonates through every frame. And this tension, shock and injustice will be felt by kids in 40,000 schools across the US where the film will be screened, hopefully encouraging them to visit the campaign website. There they can learn more about the issue, take a pledge not to text and drive, share their own story about why they feel motivated to do so, and try their hand against the Texting & Driving Simulator. 

The It Can Wait campaign, although led by AT&T (via BBDO, New York), is also supported by Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile USA, lending industry-wide support to confronting the problem. 

Contagious Insight      

Cause-related campaigns were a big theme at the Cannes Lions this year, but even so it's striking how the relative simplicity of Werner Herzog's approach to the issue has touched a nerve across the US. While Dumb Ways to Die cleaned up at Cannes, largely for demonstrating that a public service announcement didn't have to feel like a public service announcement, From One Second to the Next achieves the same effect by making you feel what the people in the film feel. Herzog's merciless documentarian's eye has created a film that stands entirely on its own merit. The fact that it exists to spread a difficult, but important message for the telcos behind its production only consolidates its power as something that needs to be communicated and understood.

The quality of the film recalls a point made by this year's Cannes Lions Film Jury president, Sir John Hegarty, who said 'There is a danger in the term "long form". The great thing about creativity is the ability to edit, and long form content doesn't always do that. You have to ask "Would this win at Sundance? Would this win at the Cannes film festival?"' Well this is one of the films that could.

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