Wellington agency Clemenger BBDO has a history of releasing intriguing road safety PSAs, forgoing the typical heavy-handed scare tactics in favor of nuanced spots that tell stories rather than beat viewers over the head with a message. Their track record includes last year’s “Blazed” stoned driving PSA and this effort from January. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the agency has once again delivered with “Local Legends,” but it just may be their best attempt yet.
The spot takes an intriguing approach to the problem of drunk driving, targeting not drivers themselves but bystanders who witness people getting into their cars drunk but are unsure how to act, or if it is their place to do so. In the ad, two elderly gentleman at a gas station see a group of rowdy youngsters getting into their car. “They’re just kids, if we don’t say something” one of them says, gesturing toward the group. “Why don’t you get a lift home tonight?” one of the men asks the boys, who are initially dismissive. Eventually, after much discussion, they convince the group to let one of them drive them home. What really sets the ad apart is how convincing the dialogue is, with awkwardness and humor that pulls the viewer into the story.
Clemenger BBDO also manages to incorporate a clever social extension, with local newspapers, radio and street posters asking public “What would you say?” and allowing them to respond via phone, text or Facebook, and then sharing the best responses. Rather than feeling tacked on, it engages viewers with a question the PSA implies and gets people thinking about what they’d do in a similar situation. Not only does this increase viewer engagement with the PSA, it may even help change bystander behavior, ultimately the goal of the campaign.
“The purpose of this strategy is to get people to be their own legends,” explains Linda Major, head of social marketing at Clemenger BBDO. “By thinking about what they would do in a similar situation people will be better prepared intervene in a way that defuses a real situation.”
Principal Advisor: Rachel Prince
Principal Scientist: Paul Graham
Executive Creative Director: Philip Andrew
Creative Director: Brigid Alkema
Creative: Mark Dalton
Creative: Mike Gwyther
Head of Social Marketing: Linda Major
Senior Account Manager: Bethany Omeri
Head of Television: Martin Gray
Managing Partner: Matt McNeil
Account Manager: Elena Kotsapas