New-an­gle drink-driv­ing ads win bou­quet

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - MEDIA & MARKETING - Bren­dan bren­

AT THE end of the year, many South Africans would have given thanks and pon­dered their lives by surf­ing a tsunami of booze. The re­sults would have been plain to see – in hos­pi­tals, mor­tu­ar­ies and the di­vorce courts.

Ahead of the fes­tiv­i­ties, a bev­er­age in­dus­try ini­tia­tive, the As­so­ci­a­tion for Re­spon­si­ble Al­co­hol Use (ARA), launched a mar­ket­ing cam­paign aimed at pro­mot­ing re­spon­si­ble drink­ing.

And, al­though the mes­sage about drink­ing and driv­ing came across strongly, there was also a mes­sage about the dam­age booze can do to re­la­tion­ships, par­tic­u­larly in fam­i­lies.

Of the TV ex­e­cu­tions, I thought two were par­tic­u­larly poignant, mainly be­cause they tackle al­co­hol-in­duced dam­age from a dif­fer­ent an­gle.

In the first, we see a joy­ous fam­ily gath­er­ing – the daugh­ter’s 21st birth­day. A clearly ine­bri­ated fa­ther grabs the mi­cro­phone and, drink in hand, starts an em­bar­rass­ing mono­logue, The look on the daugh­ter’s face is enough to warn any fa­ther not to over­step the lim­its. It’s heart­break­ing and it gets the mes­sage across.

The sec­ond is of a group of teenage girls sit­ting in a car. Ob­vi­ously they’ve been col­lected from some­where and are on their way home. The driver of the car, the mother of one of the girls, has been stopped by traf­fic cops. Af­ter be­ing breathal­ysed, she’s cuffed and is about to be taken away. The bril­liance of the ad is the sound track, which is of one of the other pas­sen­gers, also a teenage girl, phon­ing her par­ents to come and col­lect them be­cause her friend’s mother has been drink­ing. Again the look on the face of the daugh­ter of the drink­ing mom is heart-break­ing.

Or­chids all round to every­one in­volved in this ini­tia­tive and par­tic­u­larly to ad agency Lowe Bull for mak­ing the mes­sage so sting­ingly real. – Bren­dan Seery Don Daniels writes: I read your piece on your in­volve­ment in the Web­tel.mob In­tercon­ti­nen­tal Chal­lenge (the at­tempt by Swiss ad­ven­turer Yves Rossy to fly a jet-wing from Mor­roco to Spain) last month.

What an in­cred­i­ble idea for an advert. I, for one, now know a lot more about Web­ than be­fore I read your ar­ti­cle. An Or­chid for the idea and con­cept.

Tracey McKay writes:

I have been mean­ing to write to you for a while to re­quest de­liv­ery of a bag full of Onions to the lat­est TV ad cam­paign for Out­surance. The ones with the very poorly drawn and very poorly an­i­mated “lit­tle peo­ple” and the re­ally in­fan­tile voice-overs. Does Out­surance feel that their cus­tomers are all so un­so­phis­ti­cated and “slow” that only this kind of advert will ap­peal to them?

Per­son­ally, the ad­verts are hor­ri­ble, smack of a very low ad­ver­tis­ing bud­get and turn me off the prod­uct.

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