Stop, Donna time: NZTA moves from mates to mums with Legend follow-up

Youtube VideoShared responsibility is an increasingly important part of the road safety programme, as evidenced most recently with the hugely successful Ghost Chips campaign, which, for the first time, specifically targeted young Maori and used humour to equip them with the tools required to speak up when one of their mates was too drunk to drive. And NZTA, Clemenger BBDO and The Sweet Shop have followed up that pop cultural phenomenon with a new campaign that tries to convince family members to do the same.

Given the way Legend spread so quickly and unexpectedly, it was unlikely this success was going to be replicated, something NZTA advertising manager Rachael Prince acknowledged when she said it would be foolish to try and create Legend 2.0. And while none of the lines from ‘Donna Time’, which features a reformed Cheryl West-alike, some low-level swearing and a reference to the line ‘Monique says your dumb’ in Legend, seem likely to end up on t-shirts, it is taking a similar approach and trying to change the behaviour of young males by empowering those who care about them—even if, in this case, they’re a salt of the Earth sheilas who may not be the best role models themselves.

Over 40 percent of all alcohol-related crashes each year involve drunk-drivers under the age of 24 and young drunk male drivers were at fault in 82 percent of all fatal or serious injury related drink-driving crashes in 2008—2010. The NZTA says it knows “these young males are mostly good people who sometimes make bad choices”. But after many years of regular and at-times fairly gruesome road safety messaging, those good young men who are still driving drunk seem unlikely to be swayed by the traditional approach, which is where the importance of influencers comes in.

Young people who drink and drive often come from families and backgrounds where drink-driving is commonplace and accepted. This campaign focuses strongly on family responsibility, taking it beyond the ‘mates’ scenario of ‘Legend’. The target audience for this campaign is the wider family of those who drink and drive, and they may well have a history of drinking and driving themselves. We want to encourage and persuade the wider family to stand up and do something to change an ingrained pattern of behaviour of those they care about. We want to show them that they have a part to play in helping a drunk-driver make the right decision. The message we want them to take out of the advertising is that ‘regardless of your own behaviour and how tricky it might feel, if someone you care about drinks and drives, do something.’

The campaign launched on 27 May, replacing ‘Trapped’ and working alongside ‘Legend’, and introduced the tagline “Stop the family driving drunk. Legend”. The TV spot, which was directed by Stuart McDonald, will also be supported with radio ads and talkback, magazine and press ads, billboards and other outdoor advertising.

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