Scary Commercial
March 10, 2004 12:00 AM   Subscribe

Texas Dept. of Transportation is running one of the most graphic commercials (3mb mpeg) I have ever seen, relating to drunk driving or anything else. The general campaign page has more information about the girl. I don't know how to feel about this.
posted by rhyax (20 comments total)
posted by donth at 12:18 AM on March 10, 2004

oops, oh well.
posted by rhyax at 12:47 AM on March 10, 2004

There's an advert that isn't going to work.
I'm sorry, but showing the victim of a drink driver that wasn't injured by the viewer of the advert isn't going to do any good.

Most Drink Drivers think that (a) they can handle the amount of drink they've had and (b) they're such good drivers that such accidents will never be caused by them.

Plus - People don't care so much when the injured party is somebody they don't know or care about.
posted by seanyboy at 1:50 AM on March 10, 2004

I think this has been posted to MF before, although I'm too lazy to dig up the original post right now. I know I remember it -- I never forget a face.
posted by alumshubby at 4:00 AM on March 10, 2004

posted by psmealey at 5:45 AM on March 10, 2004

Oops. Apologies for the . donth got them all with his google query.
posted by psmealey at 5:47 AM on March 10, 2004

It's my feeling that drunk driving ads are not directed so much at drunk drivers as at the people who surround them. It's tough to convince the guy who think he can handle it with just an ad. But if you can convince his somewhat more sobre girlfriend, maybe she'll decide to call a cab. Or convince his equally drunk, but slightly less stupid host, who might take away his keys. I think these ads are meant to create a general level of distaste for drinking and driving that results in positive peer pressure.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:01 AM on March 10, 2004

jacquilynne's right. plus, ads don't work on an intellectual level, they work on a semi-subconcious level. this ad says drunk driving = really bad, and the power of suggestion is strong.
posted by jpoulos at 6:28 AM on March 10, 2004

For shock value, its not bad. And its a pretty horrific transformation.

But the main problem with any anti-drunk driving ads is that they are totally useless against the alcohol sheathed mind. I know when I was younger, nobody was taking my damned keys from me. I was lucky.

She was not. Bummer.

Is it me or has Texas been big on MeFi lately?
posted by fenriq at 6:45 AM on March 10, 2004

This was originally mentioned in March. And if it gets one person to speak up and take the keys away from a drunk driver, then the odds for the rest of us go up.
posted by tommasz at 6:52 AM on March 10, 2004

That's pretty shocking.

That being said, I do concur with (apparently) everyone that it's unlikely to change things for those who do drive drunk, because "it's never going to happen to [them]". And they "drive better this way".

Booze seems to make one exceedingly good at finding excuses and justifications.
posted by clevershark at 7:19 AM on March 10, 2004

Out of curiosity - and knowing full well this has zero bearing on whether the ad is effective or not - how many of you have lost a friend to a drunk driver?
posted by dmd at 8:27 AM on March 10, 2004

Just to nail this down: This campaign uses the example of that beautiful young woman who, after being hit by a drunk driver, was trapped in her car and hideously burned, right?

I don't drink, and I really don't need to see that photograph again to make sure that anyone around me who does, doesn't drive.
posted by mojohand at 8:30 AM on March 10, 2004

mojohand: Yes, you are right.

My wife's family was hit head-on by a drunk driver doing nearly 100 MPH (in a Ford Torino - big, heavy Detroit iron - just to make it worse).

She still has scars from that on her arm and legs; however, you'd never know the amount of facial reconstruction surgery she had to go through - she hit the rear-view mirror so hard it went through the windshield and flew 35 feet beyond the vehicle. Yeah, no seatbelt - it was 1974 at the time, so a lot people didn't use them.

Her mother died on the operating table, but was revived. I'm told she was never the same, though.

The drunk driver had a broken leg.

So, I don't need to be reminded not to drive drunk. And I certainly don't hesistate to intervene when needed.
posted by hadashi at 8:57 AM on March 10, 2004

Why is it graphic? Because it shows someone with a scarred face? The first things to hit me about the ad was that it is giving value to the way people look. They are using scarred people to horrify. How does this improve perceptions of people living like this?

Regardless, they lack a connection. She may be a victim of a drunk-driving, but if all the advert is saying is "Don't drink and drive, or you'll screw up a pretty girl's face" then it is worthless. Why would potential drink-drivers care, or care enough, to even second-guess themselves because of this?

Our local road safety adverts are much more graphic in their delivery and I believe they are more effective in showing direct effects, which could lead to better results. See this one as a example.

I can't seem to find a lot of the other ones online, but there's also the Think! campaign and then there's the DOE Road Safety Site itself.
posted by digiboy at 9:35 AM on March 10, 2004

Is it me or has Texas been big on MeFi lately?

I think Texas has pretty much been big since the beginning. Ba-dump.
posted by kevspace at 11:34 AM on March 10, 2004

Recent studies have suggested, by the way, that driving while talking on a cellphone or even while eating can be just as dangerous as drunk driving - or even more so.
posted by troutfishing at 11:58 AM on March 10, 2004

I'm curious -- what are your favourite social marketing campaigns? How about this one (child poverty), or this one (anti-smoking)?
posted by mrmcsurly at 2:22 PM on March 10, 2004

As an aside, Australian anti drink-driving ads have recently tended to focus on the inconvenience and social-stigma associated with losing your licence in a 'booze-bus' random-breath test. I'm pleased to see that the climax of the ads still retains the strapline -

"If you drink and drive, you're a bloody idiot"

I imagine that the shift in focus from gruesome accidents to public embarassment (which is very real, given that many newspapers have a 'name and shame' column for drink driving convictions) is the result of focus groups showing that people who habitually drink and drive don't think they'll ever have a serious accident.
posted by backOfYourMind at 7:45 AM on March 11, 2004

I thought Texas had a "too stupid to live, so I had to kill him" law.

One should think that'd do the trick for solving the drunk drivers problem. Survival of the fittest and all that.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:21 AM on March 11, 2004

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