This New ‘It Can Wait’ PSA Is Comically Slapstick, Until It Turns Deadly Serious

FCB melds don't-text-and-drive approaches

The ongoing “It Can Wait” campaign highlights the dangers of texting and driving, and the various executions have been notably and appropriately well-known for being shocking and heart-wrenching.

But the latest spot, from FCB Cape Town, starts unexpectedly and comically.

It begins with a montage of amusing and fairly benign clips of gaffes made while texting and walking. We see people drop phones, walk into light poles, and ironically stumble over caution signs to a whimsical soundtrack punctuated with cartoonish sound effects.

Then the ad gets pretty grim, pretty fast. Or as a YouTube commenter appropriately states, “Holy shit, damn dark turn.” See the spot below. Warning: The ad is graphic.

“You can’t even text and walk…” the copy begins. The fanciful soundtrack abruptly stops as a young woman texts and drives, then suddenly the car crashes, tumbling, and the scene ends on her hanging upside down like a rag doll to the sound of a heart monitor flatlining.

The ad ends with “…so why do you text and drive?”

The visuals in the last 15 seconds of the 40-second spot are powerful and brutal. The dichotomy between the fun, internet-shareable “fails” and the reality of the dangers of texting and driving is stark and effective.

FCB Cape Town confirms to AdFreak that the accident at the end was a “recreation, based on an actual incident.”

The “It Can Wait” campaign is sponsored by AT&T, but this work was created separately, without any AT&T branding, by South Africa’s Western Cape government.

Roo Powell is freelance contributor to Adweek.