Happiness and Parents of the Road Victims present ‘Behind the numbers’  

Ads, Creativity, CSR

Parents of Road Victims’ have teamed up with FCB alliance agency Happiness to launch a year-long radio campaign you’d rather not hear. Because every time it airs, somebody just died in a road accident – in real-time.  

Last year in Belgium, 640 people lost their lives in road accidents. While that’s a decrease of 13% compared to 2016, it’s still way too many, especially in a country with a population as small as Belgium’s (approximately 11.5 million). To illustrate this fact, Happiness has created a thought-provoking campaign that makes the number of fatalities more tangible and human, rather than just a statistic.

The dynamic radio campaign, titled ‘Behind the Numbers’, is directly connected to national police data. This means that every time somebody gets killed in traffic, a pre-recorded radio spot with an updated number of victims airs instantly across five different radio channels simultaneously. Each unique spot was recorded by real parents of road victims.

By creating one unique radio spot for every life lost, every victim in the statistics becomes more tangible. This emphasises the scale of the problem to everybody listening to the radio, including drivers. And by doing so, each life lost becomes a reason to drive more carefully.

Geoffrey Hantson, Chief Creative Officer of Happiness:

Just yesterday, the copywriter of this campaign lost a friend in a road accident. It was only afterwards that he realised that when he heard the radio ad announcing victim number 121 the previous afternoon, it was actually announcing that his friend passed away. It’s an extremely sad example of what the campaign does: making everybody understand that behind the numbers and the statistics, it’s real people dying.


  • Client: OVK – Ouders van Verongelukte Kinderen
  • Contacts: Koen van Wonterghem, Ellen Ruys
  • Agency: Happiness Brussels
  • CCO: Geoffrey Hantson
  • Creation: Roxane Schneider, Pieter Claeys
  • CEO & Strategic Director: Karen Corrigan
  • Group Account Director: Hans Smets
  • Account Manager: Tine Van Hasselt
  • Junior Account Executive: Gaelle Maes
  • Radio Production: Raygun
  • Radio Director: Peter Baert
  • Production: Jérôme Gijsen, Toon Jansegers, Liesbeth Demolder
  • Camera team: Lisa Gadeyne, Sumi Arcos Mina
  • Motion: Remke Faber, Karlien Huygels

Happiness, an FCB alliance, is a creative connectivity agency based in Brussels, Belgium, and Saigon, Vietnam. The agency is well known to design-connected brands that trigger emotions that trigger business. The very multicultural crew of Happiness have won numerous awards, including Grand Prix at Cannes Lions and Eurobest. Some of their work is even featured in the V&A Museum, London. The agency believes in the power of creativity, the power of humanity, and in happiness, that fuels both. Happiness Brussels currently works for Quick (Burger King), VOO (one of Belgium’s biggest telco companies), Toyota, Tuborg, Parents of Road Victims, 2dehands.be (Belgium’s biggest classified ads platform), DVV Insurances, NIVEA, Labello, Hansaplast, Eucerin, Somersby and Carlsberg.