Travelers Beautifully Tells the Unfinished Stories of Lives Cut Short by Distracted Driving

TBWA\Chiat\Day NY series begins with Philip LaVallee

At the core of the heartbreak around senseless, preventable traffic deaths is the question of what might have been—how a person's life might have unfolded if all that potential hadn't been snuffed out in an instant. Road safety campaigns frequently lean into the emotion of such tragedies, focusing on this true cost of drunk or distracted driving—the loss of everything a victim of such behavior could have experienced in the future. 

Now, Travelers adds to that tradition with "Unfinished Stories," a beautifully crafted campaign from TBWA\Chiat\Day New York that uses a mix of real-world interviews and animation to conjure visions of how people killed by distracted drivers might have lived. 

The series starts with "The Route," a story about Philip LaVallee, a track star at South Dakota State University who was killed in 2013 by a distracted driver at age 19. 

See the short film below, which was made with help from animation company Psyop and director Trevor Conrad, and features the song "Limitless" by B-E-L-L-S.

The Route | Phil’s Unfinished Story

"This project has been a labor of love for all of us," says Chris Beresford-Hill, chief creative officer at TBWA\Chiat\Day New York. "Everyone who has participated in the creation has had a deeply emotional experience, and we are honored to share these stories."

More films will launch in the coming weeks, telling the stories of Shreya Dixit, age 19, and Howard Stein, age 61, who were also killed by distracted drivers. Those films will have different animation styles that best capture their stories, the agency says. 

Distracted driving has been a growing problem since the advent of smartphones. Distracted drivers cause nine deaths and over 1,000 injuries every day in the U.S. A slew of PSA campaigns—most famously, AT&T's "It Can Wait"—has attempted to curb the problem. 

Travelers has been committed to addressing the issue in recent years. The Travelers Institute's "Every Second Matters" initiative, a national education campaign launched in 2017, is working to reduce distracted driving while empowering drivers to set positive examples for roadway safety. 


TBWA\Chiat\Day New York
Chief Creative Officer: Chris Beresford-Hill
Executive Creative Director: Walt Connelly
Senior Art Director: Alex Holm
Senior Copywriter: Avi Steinbach
Group Creative Director/Head of Design: Chris Rowson
Motion Graphics Designer: Seokmin Hong
Senior Designer: Robyn Makinson
Head of Production: John Doris
Executive Producer: Chris Klein
Producer: Kelly Sutton
Producer: Sarah Haroldson
Editor, RedSlash: Andrew Nethery
Post Producer, RedSlash: Pietra Cangialosi
Group Account Director: Carrie Lipper
Account Director: Mark Donohue
Account Manager: Jeannine Yawn
Associate Account Manager: Isabella Dahlke
Senior Business Affairs Manager: Stephanie Ambroise
Global Director of Strategy: Sami Salmenkivi

Animation Co: Psyop
Director: Trevor Conrad
Executive Producer: Justin Booth-Clibborn
Producer: Amy Martz
Lead Designer: Trevor Conrad, Tuna Bora
Designers: Edmund Liang, Stephanie Stromenger
Storyboard Artist: Paul Cohen, Armand Serrano
Boardomatic Editor: Rob Cavedo

Animation Partner: Nørlum
Creative Lead: Mikkel Mainz
Project Manager: Carla Louro 
Assistant Project Manager: Elena Alexa
Producer: Frederik Villumsen
Layout & Background: Morten Lund
Animation: Mikkel Mainz, Søren Krøjgaard, Corentin Monnier, Stina Willadsen, Stine Dalsgaard, Keld Nissen
Compositing: Christina Brix, Morten Lund
Interns: Nikolas Powell, Kenny Leoncito, Aurora Hansen, Renato Lertora 

Production Company: Variable
Director: Steve Hoover
Director of Photography: Daniel Stewart
Executive Producer: Tyler Ginter
Executive Producer: Alex Friedman
HoP/Supervising Producer: Paige DeMarco
Producer: Jon Simonetta
Production Coordinator: Rocco Campanelli
AC/DIT: Jeff Levine
Gaffer: Michael Winn
Sound Mixer: Owen Bradford
HMU: Melissa Martin

Edit Company: Cartel 
Editor: Chris Catanach
Executive Producer: Lauren Bleiweiss
Producer: Joanna Hall
Assistant Editors: Zach Kaigler, Dan Gutterman

The Mill
VFX Production: The Mill
Executive Producer: Heath Raymond
Producer: Lauren Orban
Production Coordinator: Roberto Herrera
2D Lead Artist: Drew Maloney
Color: The Mill
Colorist: Michael Rossiter
Color Producer: Evan Bauer
Color Assist: Nate Seymour

Song: "Limitless" by B-E-L-L-S
Music Consultant: ELIAS Music
EP: Joey Netter
Music Producer: Matt Phenix
Creative Director: Eric Ronick
Mix: Zach Golden
Sound Design: Evan Wood

Live Action Track: Sea Of Love (No Groove)
Artist: Adi Goldstein 
Music Library: FLIKTRAX 

Travelers Insurance Company
Vice President, Advertising & Media: John Morris
Advertising & Branding: Peter Wiggenhauser

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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