McAllister Project Delivers Message at Disabled-Parking Spots
LOS ANGELES--As high school students in Seattle hunt for parking spaces this summer, they may begin to rethink their weekend behavior thanks to a new campaign by WongDoody copywriter Cal McAllister for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
The campaign, which McAllister designed as a student and pitched to MADD independent of his Seattle employer, takes its public-service message to disabled-parking spaces. Stenciled on the ground at the spaces are the familiar disabled-parking icon and the sentence "Every 48 seconds, a drunk driver makes another person eligible to park here."
The icon and text are the only components of the message--the MADD name and logo do not appear. "When you throw out a logo or an authoritative figure, that detracts from the message," McAllister said. "MADD was very up-front about their image problem with a younger audience."
The campaign also marks a departure from anti-drunk driving campaigns that typically focus on the possibility of death. "We always think about the fatalities, but unfortunately there are thousands and thousands of people in our country living with the aftermath of having been victims of crashes," said Kerri Dowd, executive director of the King County chapter of MADD in Redmond, Wash.
Parking spaces at three Seattle-area schools were the first to display the message; they were painted on the Friday night before graduation in late June. McAllister said there are plans to extend the project in the fall at more schools and municipalities. Dowd said a similarly themed campaign may target restaurant bathroom stalls.
Although the project was his personal undertaking, McAllister said he would like his agency to work with the client on a more permanent basis. A number of agencies around the country create pro bono work for the Dallas-based organization. K