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Leithal Thinking Brand & Marketing Consultancy

Ziggy’s road safety mission

Ziggy’s road safety mission

Ziggy is the lead character in the innovative approach to Early Level Road Safety Education

How do you communicate road safety to under 6s?

Despite significant positive downwards trends, the road environment still represents the single highest cause of death and injury to young people in Scotland.

Leithal Thinking was therefore delighted in 2009 to be appointed by Road Safety Scotland to help address this important issue by delivering a pioneering new road safety resource aimed at children 0-6 and their ‘communities’ of parents, carers and educational staff.

The new resource was to be based around a number of storybooks to be given to every child in Scotland through their nursery or school, and supported within these establishments too.

Ziggy’s road safety mission

The illustrations communicate important road safety learnings.

The new resource faced a number of key challenges:

     - Being engaging enough for children where there would be lots of ‘competing’ books
       and stories at home, but simple enough for less confident adult readers to use too.

     - Being as relevant to children experiencing roads and traffic in central Glasgow as
       in the Outer Hebrides (and everything in between!).

     - Being attractive to both boys and girls (in an increasingly gender-divided retail environment).

     - Crucially, the stories needed to go beyond mere ‘entertainment’ and inspire ‘active learning’,
       for example, behaviour change, little conversations parents could have with their children
       when out and about and interactive classroom activities etc.

It’s tempting to think that anyone could write a children’s book, but this is a gross under-estimation of how critically demanding young children really are!  For every loved-to-death Gruffalo, or Enormous Caterpillar, there are reams of books that languish, un-loved and un-read, at the bottom of the book box.  So, we decided, for this project, to combine the strategic capabilities of Leithal Thinking with the specific talents of experienced children’s writers and illustrators.

The result was “Go Safe! Ziggy’s Road Safety Mission” – a series of stories about a little alien who comes to stay with a Scottish family and gets to learn about basic road safety.

Ziggy’s road safety mission

Each book is written around a storyline based on a season of the year.

Leithal Thinking’s development research showed that using a ‘naïve’ character like Ziggy was very powerful as it allowed children reading the stories to be involved in educating him (rather than always being preached at themselves).

Ziggy’s road safety mission

We opted for a distinctive visual style with illustrated characters appearing in photographed backgrounds, and making use of ‘child’s eye level’ photography to create a strong connection between the stories and the real life experiences of young children. 

Of course, the stories also have bags of interactivity, humour and even the odd use of the word ‘poo’, (a great example of knowing your target audience).

The new resource is being introduced from late 2010 and will also exist online.

Ziggy’s road safety mission


  • Research
  • Brand Identity
  • Graphic Design