This Drunk-Driving Cabbie Angers His Passengers in a PSA With a Powerful Twist Ending

How much would you tolerate?

Would you tolerate your cab driver drinking and driving?

The passengers in MullenLowe's new hidden-camera PSA for the Safe Roads Alliance certainly don't. From the moment they see their cabbie taking swigs from cans and bottles (he isn't actually drinking alcohol, of course), they ream him out—and force him to pull over.

But only toward the end of the PSA does the real point become clear.

Watch the spot, spoiler free, here:

MullenLowe launched the video to coincide with National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The agency has pretty compelling data about the dangers of texting and driving: Talking on a phone while driving increases your accident risk by a factor of four, while texting and driving increases the accident risk by anywhere from eight to 23 times, according to the National Safety Council.

The PSA cleverly captures the indifference people feel about texting and driving, versus drinking and driving.

"People text and drive. These same people know that texting and driving is a bad idea. Yet, in a classic case of 'It won't happen to me,' they continue to do it," says MullenLowe creative director John Kearse. "Far more people are injured in distracted-driving accidents than drunk driving. Obviously, drunk driving is nothing to joke about, and is something any reasonable person would classify as a terrible idea. Why do we view texting and driving differently?"

Kearse said the cabbie's vodka was actually water, and the beers were energy drinks with beer labels wrapped around them.

"So the cabbie was very wound up by the end of the day, even though his demeanor remained extremely relaxed. That's some serious acting," Kearse says.

And for the record, he wasn't actually texting either. All sounds and "texts" from his phone were pre-recorded video clips that made it seem like he was sending and receiving messages.

Client: Safe Roads Alliance

Agency: MullenLowe
Chief Creative Officer: Mark Wenneker
Executive Creative Directors: Tim Vaccarino, Dave Weist
Group Creative Directors: John Kearse, Rob Kottkamp
Associate Creative Director: Nick Mathisen
Art Director: Mauricio Perez
Executive Director of Integrated Production: Liza Near
Director of Broadcast Production: Zeke Bowman
Senior Producer: Trish Dowley
Senior Business Affairs: Vanessa Fazio
Director of Digital Strategy: Eric Williamson
Strategist: Michael Mann
Group Account Director: Eric Fulwiler
Account Supervisor: Danielle Morrissey
Account Executive: Justin Rodis
Project Manager: Gillie Bruce

Production Company: Station Film
Director: Sam Cadman
Executive Producer: Caroline Gibney
Producer: James Blom
Director of Photography: Damien Drake

Editing: ps260
Editor: Maury Loeb
Assistant Editor: Tyler Hurst
Senior Producer: Laura Lamb Patterson

Color: CO3
Colorist: Rob Sciarratta

Visual Effects: Brickyard VFX
Artists: Jimi Simmons, Gina Downing
Producer: Ellen Schmitt

Audio Postproduction: Soundtrack
Sound Design, Mixer: Mike Secher

Stock Music: APM Music