Ad Council, OMD Team Up For Drunk-Driving Campaign

As law enforcement bolsters its patrolling for DWI and DUI drivers during the March Madness basketball tournament season, the Ad Council is introducing new PSAs to encourage young men to examine their behavior. They amplify social warning signs most people already know and associate with impairment.

Developed pro bono by OMD, the “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving” campaign with the Dept. of Transportation serves as an evolution of “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk” message by linking texting too many emojis or taking one too many selfies serve as subtle “warning signs” not to drive home.

The spots end by reminding drivers to take responsibility for their own decisions and find a safe way to get home. 



OMD secured media placements across high-profile platforms, including CBS Sports, PlayIQ, Tinder and Vox.

"This is one of [OMD's] first end-to-end advertising productions," says Ellyn Fisher, senior vice president, PR, Social Media, Ad Council. "Every step of the way," OMD's creative strategy and execution was driven by research behind men ages 21-35 screen preferences and attention spans, she says.

She adds: "That’s why we’ve extended the creative into a variety of social-friendly, snackable formats, from videos to gifs to memes."

Fisher notes that the creative is designed to resonate with the campaign’s target of young men because National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows they are much more likely to be involved in alcohol-related fatal crashes. That said, the Ad Council hopes all drivers will "benefit from seeing these spots."

This is also the Ad Council's first foray into the March Madness time period specifically, though the group has raised awareness about “buzzed” driving around St. Patrick’s Day.

"While drinking and driving is an important issue year-round, we historically have focused more on the period between Christmas and New Year’s as part of our Project Roadblock initiative during which local broadcast TV stations across the country support the PSAs," says Fisher. "We’re always looking to tap into key moments in culture when people are likely to be drinking and could use a reminder not to drive buzzed."

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