D'Arcy rolls out its DoT Drink Drive campaign

D'Arcy shows a seemingly careful driver smashing into oncoming traffic, in its first Drink Drive work for the Department of Transport since winning the account back from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO earlier this year.

The campaign, which consists of 60-, 40- and 30-second TV ads running from 24 October until Christmas, will continue to focus on an audience of 17- to 25-year-old men.

The ad shows an ordinary street in which a girl is cycling. A driver pulls up behind and, with concentration, tries to overtake. He is thwarted time after time by oncoming traffic, and each time he attempts to pass, a different strapline appears on the screen. Each one is a typical excuse used by drivers to justify drinking and driving: "Only had a couple", "Feel fine to drive" and "Driving carefully". The motorist finally manages to overtake her, but crashes straight into another car he didn't even see because he was concentrating so hard on the cyclist.

The head of the DoT's Think! road safety campaign, Tony Allsworth, said the new work had moved away from the harrowing crash scenes depicted in previous campaigns because they were losing impact. "Our target audience often finds it easy to opt out of drinking and driving messages because they don't see themselves as drink drivers - they feel they can handle their drink and don't recognise the impairment to their own driving. They also feel the carnage seen in many ads must apply to drunk drivers, not to themselves. D'Arcy's campaign prevents this opt-out by tapping into insights that the audience identifies with."

He added that the TV medium of the campaign would create maximum influence for not only the target audience, but also those close to them, helping maintain pressure against drinking and driving.

The ads were written by Simon Impey, art directed by Jon Daniel and directed by Simon Aboud through Union.

Media planning and buying is through Carat, and the ads will run on national satellite and terrestrial TV for maximum impact. A further burst will break in early 2003.

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