Zen and the art of motoring sexily
How sexy are you when you're driving?
Are you the kind of person who eases through the city with a calm demeanour, a strong grip on the wheel and a gaze that could tame a rabid wolf with the raise of an eyebrow?
Or are you a leaden-footed motorist who races across town with sweaty armpits, a furrowed brow and a trail of skidmarks behind you?
If the former applies, then congratulations, you are what is known as a Sexy Zen Driver.
If not, then you'd best pay attention to Greater Wellington Regional Council's new road safety ad campaign.
The council has joined with the New Zealand Transport Agency to create a light-hearted three-part series encouraging aggressive drivers to find their inner peace and slow down through Wellington's 50kmh zones.
The ads chronicle the journey of three impatient motorists as they are coached by a zen driving master in the mould of Mr Miyagi from The Karate Kid.
He puts his pupils through an intense "wax on, wax off"-style training course, although in this case, "gas on, gas off" is the key mantra.
About $22,000 was spent on the ads, split between the council and NZTA. They will screen in movie theatres across the Wellington region and on the internet.
Simon Kennett, the regional council's road safety co-ordinator, said it chose the humorous route over a "shock and horror" campaign because drivers in their 20s - the council's target audience - tended to switch off when they saw violent images.
"We hope it will resonate with young people. The more sexy zen drivers there are in Wellington, the better for us all."
About two years of work had been poured into creating the ads, which tested well with younger drivers, Kennett said.
He defended the council spending ratepayer dollars on something the Transport Agency normally funds. "NZTA's campaigns tend to focus more on open-road speed limits and we wanted something that looked at urban limits . . . and was more targeted at locals."
HOW TO SPOT A SEXY ZEN DRIVER
Grips the steering wheel firmly
Nothing to prove by driving fast
Can do the splits (not essential)
HOW TO SPOT AN AGGRESSIVE DRIVER
Smells of desperation
Skidmarks visible behind vehicle
Engine sounds remind them of being in the womb
The Dominion Post