The ad is the debut work from Y&R London, which was appointed to run the Department for Transport brief last year, replacing long-time incumbent Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.
It targets young men aged 17-24 with the tagline, “A mate doesn’t let a mate drink drive,” and depicts a man intervening to stop his friend drink-driving by grabbing him from behind and clasping his pint of lager in both hands.
The scene mimics Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore’s pottery scene in Ghost as the concerned friend sings the lyrics to Unchained Melody into his mate’s ear before taking his drink away from him.
While Think!’s previous road safety campaigns have focused on the dire consequences of drink-driving, this message has become less impactful over recent years because of a prevailing “it won’t happen to me attitude”, Y&R’s chief strategy officer Emily James said.
James added: “This new strategy, rooted in behavioural psychology, eschews the conventional parent-child vernacular of traditional drink drive campaigns and instead draws on peer dynamics to police and influence the friendship group.”
The creative will feature a 60-second social film on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter and a 30-second VOD spot which first aired yesterday (12 March).
The ad was created by Nina Beyers, Tom Espezel-Bentley, Sean Johnson, and Josh Pearce at Y&R. It was produced in-house by the agency and directed by deputy executive creative director Jim Bolton.
Jon Burley, Y&R London’s chief creative officer, said: “Humour can be just as powerful an emotional trigger as shock and melodrama.
“Young men have been told over and over again in a myriad of hard-hitting campaigns that drink driving can have fatal consequences, but with thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths on the roads every year, we had to try something that resisted the default behaviours of the category.”