Apr 4, 2011 Nashville, TN

Bridgestone Americas Launches Fifth Annual Safety Scholars Video Contest

As participation continues to rise, contest shows teens remain passionate about spreading safe driving message

Bridgestone Americas recently kicked off its fifth annual Safety Scholars Video Contest during a presentation to media at the company’s new product launch in Phoenix. The company is excited to build on the program’s remarkable success and further extend its ongoing commitment to teen driver safety education.

The contest, which is one of Bridgestone Americas’ teen driver safety initiatives, offers a unique opportunity for young drivers to educate peers about how to stay safe behind the wheel, both as a driver and a passenger. Entrants create a short automotive safetythemed video that encourages their peers to make better decisions. The submissions are narrowed down to ten finalists, which are posted on safetyscholars.com for online voting.

“Every year, the submissions that we receive in the Safety Scholars Video Contest continue to amaze us,” said Angela Patterson Sikes, Digital Media Coordinator, Community and Corporate Relations, Bridgestone Americas. “Not only are they innovative, creative and very well executed, but they present vital safe driving messages that are relevant to both novice and veteran drivers. Peer-to-peer communication can influence behavior, and our program is simply one way for teens to talk to their peers about the importance of safe driving practices.”

Due to the increasing popularity of the program, the company elected to open the 2011 Safety Scholars contest to Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) this year. Now, teens ages 16-21 in both the United States and Canada will be able to submit videos about the teen driver safety issues that matter to them.

U.S. based winners will receive a $5,000 college scholarship and a free set of Bridgestone tires. Canadian winners will receive a $5,000 cash prize. Each winning Safety Scholars video may be used as a public service announcement (PSA) on
television stations across the country. In 2010, Safety Scholars videos that were included in this PSA campaign aired more than 7,600 times, resulting in more than 75 million audience impressions.

The 2010 Safety Scholars winners were invited to the Phoenix product launch to present their videos to a group of automotive journalists and enthusiasts from around the country. Tom Leduc and Zach King utilized personal testimonies, dramatic narratives, humor and other creative formats to deliver powerful messages about auto safety.

“Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death for 16- to 21-year olds. It’s a sad and frightening statistic, but one we think can be changed,” said Dan MacDonald, Vice President, Community and Corporate Relations, Bridgestone Americas. “As a company, safety education is a top priority. We hope that by having young people creatively show their peers the dangers of distracted driving, that age group will change its driving habits for the better, whether that means putting away the cell phone, always wearing a seat belt or not driving under the influence.”

2011 Contest Details:

  • Videos must be 25 or 55 seconds in length.

  • Entrants can now submit their videos through May 13 at safetyscholars.com.

  • A panel of judges will select 10 finalists based on the following criteria: how well the video compels viewers to be more safety-conscious when using their vehicles, and how well the video effectively and creatively communicates its message.

  • The 10 finalist videos will be posted on safetyscholars.com in addition to YouTube and Facebook on June 1. The general public will then vote for their favorites online at safetyscholars.com.

  • Official rules with complete entry, eligibility and prize details are available on safetyscholars.com.

The Results:

         Votes will be tallied and grand prize-winning videos will be announced on June 28 at safetyscholars.com

In addition to Safety Scholars, Bridgestone Americas has invested in a number of innovative driving and tire safety education initiatives specifically targeted at young drivers. The Bridgestone brand serves as presenting national sponsor of Driver’s Edge, a hands-on safe driving course that’s offered free of charge to teens in select U.S. cities. Bridgestone Americas has also aired a series of tire safety public service announcements featuring Mario Andretti, legendary racer and Firestone spokesman. The company has also created an innovative, interactive Web site —www.teensdrivesmart.com — to provide online resources to young drivers to help them become better, safer drivers.

Please visit www.safetyscholars.com for more information. For broadcast-quality logos, digital photos and/or video, please visit www.bridgestoneamericasmedia.com.