Nostalgia gets the better of bad decisions in the latest ad for NZTA’s ‘Legend’ campaign

Playing on the emotions of male camaraderie, the New Zealand Transport Agency and Clemenger BBDO’s latest ad shows how drink driving could stop you from living your fullest life.

The video shows the story of Rats, who’s described as “a real-life, non-acting, true-blooded lovable rogue, with hair to match”. As he leaves a party and prepares to drive home in an intoxicated state, he sees a green motorbike helmet which sets off a series of fond memories Rats has with his friends, which include dirt biking in the woods, shooting beer bottles, mud wrestling and driving around on a track.

After weighing up his decision to drive with what he could be risking in exchange, Rats ultimately chooses not to get behind the wheel and stays over at his friend’s house instead.

Directed by Nick Ball of production company Finch, ‘Rat’s Tale’ focuses on friendship and camaraderie by highlighting how an injury could compromise the time that could be had with mates out hunting, riding and hooning around. The spot targets provincial males and reminds those who relate to Rats that they need their bodies to live the full-on lives they love.

“Research told us these guys push the limits with everything they do, including driving drunk,” says NZTA’s Rachel Prince. “They don’t want us telling them what to do or making them feel bad for making the wrong call. We had to find a way to make the right call more appealing.”

 Brigid Alkema, executive creative director of Clemenger BBDO, says to get the message across, the piece was going to rely heavily on finding the right character.

“Nick and his team did a brilliant job in finding our guy, we wanted the real thing and we got him. I think we have something authentic and charming that hopefully, the audience will love…and proudly own,” she says.

Finch’s Nick Ball adds that it was “a rare opportunity to work with such a brave and confident agency and client team with such a heritage of great and compelling award-winning work”.

“I’ve had a blast getting stuck into Rats’ rather unique world – it was an eye-opening, somewhat confronting experience from beginning to end – but I hope the authenticity of our world carries the message and delivers on what was a pretty fun piece of film to make.”

The NZTA’s ‘Legend’ campaign first launched back in 2011 with its infamous ‘Ghost Chips’ spot, and has targeted different drink driving audiences over the years through a variety of media channels. In 2012, NZTA targeted the role family members could play in stopping drink driving, while in 2014, it showed how old-timers could help stop young drivers from making bad decisions.

Agency: Clemenger BBDO | Touchcast
Client: NZ Transport Agency
Production Company: Finch
Sound Design: The Coopers
Media: OMD Wellington

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