NEW YORK and WASHINGTON, DC: The Ad Council and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are extending their 20-year old ?Friends Don?t Let Friends Drive Drunk? campaign with a new message, ?Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.?
The new series of TV and radio PSA's, via Mullen, launches today, coinciding with the holiday season, with the message that driving after "moderate" drinking is just as dangerous as getting behind the wheel after tying one on.
The effort, targetting men aged 21 to 34, 59% of whom, per NHTSA were among driving fatalities last year, feature people who are visibly drunk and should obviously not be behind the wheel of a car, and then show people who are "buzzed" and may not recognize that they are too impaired to drive.
The ads conclude with the tagline "Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving." The TV spots were distributed earlier this month in time to begin airing this week as part of a holiday roadblock developed in partnership with the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB). The TVB is encouraging all local broadcast TV stations to donate airtime for the new PSAs through New Year's Day.
A holiday roadblock created by Mullen for last year's Drunk Driving Prevention ads resulted in participation from stations in 86% of designated market areas.
Furthermore, according to a Nielson study, 25% of viewers who saw the spots that week said they spoke to a friend or relative about drinking and driving,
"The power of the campaign is that it basically ambushes the viewer," said
Michael Ancevic, SVP and group Creative Director at Mullen, in a statement, "Instead of preaching and pulling on heart strings, it behaves more like an alcohol ad that you'd see on a football game, but then it catches you by surprise. We need to suck you in with laughter and then make you feel that 'Oh man I've done that' lump in your throat