DOT and Tombras debut drunk driving campaign

WASHINGTON: With just a few days until the start of the Labor Day holiday weekend, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has joined forces with The Tombras Group for a drunk driving campaign, called "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over."

WASHINGTON: With just a few days until the start of the Labor Day holiday weekend, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has joined forces with The Tombras Group for a drunk driving campaign, called "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over."

The campaign features TV and radio spots, an interactive microsite, and a drunk driving YouTube game, which has seen 251,000 hits in its first week. Tombras, a full-service PR and advertising agency, along with NHTSA's PR team of seven executives, are handling traditional media outreach for print, radio, and television, as well as social media. The firm is also leading Hispanic outreach efforts.

"The campaign targets males 21 to 34, who are at the highest risk for drinking and driving," said David Strickland, administrator of NHTSA. "The message is clear - law enforcement officers across the country are out in force, cracking down on anyone who breaks the law and drives drunk. If you've had too much to drink, you will get caught.You may not see them, but they will see you."

Knoxville, TN-based Tombras has served as AOR for both PR and advertising for NHTSA's behavioral programs since 2004. Meanwhile, AkinsCrisp Public Strategies is handling government relations for the campaign.

Alice Matthews, SVP and account supervisor at Tombras, said that findings showed that the targeted demographic were more motivated by fear of arrest than by fear of an accident or death.

"The research uncovered an insight that resonated well with our target audience—that the cops will see you before you see them," she said. "We want to warn those high-risk groups that whether they can see the cops or not, they are more likely than ever to get 'pulled over.'"

Matthews added that Tombras will be introducing a parent/child safety effort for NHTSA in mid-September. A national distracted driving campaign focused on teens is also planned for later this year.

The "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign is supported by a $13 million television, radio, and online ad buy, according to NHTSA. The organization decline to break out the PR budget.

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