MADD relaunches walks, local efforts

IRVING, TX: Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) relaunched its 5K walks with a new name, "Walk Like MADD," and more national support for local grassroots efforts to back its issues.

IRVING, TX: Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) relaunched its 5K walks with a new name, "Walk Like MADD," and more national support for local grassroots efforts to back its issues.

Focus groups showed that while the walks raised $1.2 million in donations in 2007 thanks to 100,000 participants, few actually knew what the walks were called, and non-participants confused the MADD walks with others, such as Susan G. Komen's "Race for the Cure."

Two agencies are working with MADD on the effort, which first launched last month. GMMB serves as MADD's AOR for the rebranding of the walks, which are held in 30 US cities and previously called "Strides for Change." MarketWave is providing viral marketing and word-of-mouth outreach to draw in more participants and interest.

The lack of a strong, national brand weakened the group's effort to build local support around the country for many goals, including the passage of laws requiring the installation of "interlock" technology in the vehicles of all convicted drunk drivers, said MADD director of media relations Misty Moyse.

GMMB, MarketWave, and MADD developed more sophisticated media outreach materials for organizers, as well as "best practices" for encouraging volunteers to write to legislators and support MADD's national goals.

"We've always had a PR toolkit, but now we've put together resources to go beyond pro-bono support, to make sure local organizers are pitching media and doing what they need to do to succeed," Moyse said.

MADD's effort to make interlock mandatory for drunk drivers' cars - and ultimately in all cars - recently prompted the American Beverage Institute to counter with a national ad campaign that said that interlock could keep a casual drinker from having a beer at a ball game or champagne during a toast.

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