Ad uses shock tactics to deter drunk driving

2010-12-04 00:00

A HARD-HITTING advertising campaign that is premised on the fear factor and the belief that the prospect of arrest and imprisonment is a powerful deterrent to drunk driving, has hit the airwaves.

The new ad campaign dramatises the consequences of arrest by showing who you could end up sharing a cell with.

The advertising company, Brandhouse, says the aim is to bring about a radical change in motorists’ behaviour so they will never drink and drive again.

It says in a statement that a survey has found that 88% of South Africans say the fear of being arrested and sent to jail for drunk driving encourages them not to drink and drive.

Its “Drive Dry Responsible Drinking” online survey, part of its corporate social responsibility programme, was conducted on

The campaign hit the screens this week and will be broadcast on radio from December 6.

Phumza Rengqe, corporate social responsibility manager at Brandhouse, says the strategy is not simply to raise awareness, but to change consumer behaviour.

“In the 45-second television execution, you see dating videos of a variety of men talking about themselves and what they are looking for in a partner. As the camera pans out it reveals these are clearly seasoned prison inmates speaking from a jail cell,” said Rengqe.

The pay-off line is: “You don’t want to meet these men.”

Rengqe said there will also be a version aimed at women.

“People may be shocked by this hard-hitting campaign, but we want them to understand that drunk driving has consequences, and to change their behaviour accordingly; in other words, never drink and drive.”

She said Brandhouse’s research shows that even if people drive when they are over the limit, they do not believe that anything bad will happen to them.

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