In Texas, Tipsy Reindeer Games Won’t Fly

NEW YORK Texas is trying to convince drivers who drink to catch a cab instead of climbing behind the wheel— or, in keeping with the season, behind the reins of a certain sleigh.

The state on Monday began its ninth annual campaign against drinking and driving with a stop-motion animated commercial. It was produced by Austin, Texas-based Sherry Matthew Advocacy Marketing, which has done all previous eight campaigns, said Mark Cross, a representative for the state’s Department of Transportation, which commissioned the work.

The statewide initiative also features radio spots, billboards, decals and coasters in bars.

In “Reindeer Barn,” the fat man in red with a penchant for squeezing down chimneys arrives home to find his reindeer throwing a Christmas Eve bash, complete with a DJ spinning hip-hop on the ones and twos. Disappointed with his inebriated charges, Santa turns his back on them and whistles. A sleigh arrives, pulled by taxicabs instead of reindeer. Click here to view the spot.

A second clip will air Dec. 26—with a somewhat less whimsical storyline.

In “Parallel Reality,” two men are shown via split-screen preparing to get behind the wheel. One, a bar patron, drains his beer while the other, a police officer, finishes his bottled water. They both hit the road, at which point the split screens merge—showing the cop behind the weaving drinker. The spot ends with the line, “Drink. Drive. Go to jail.”

Said Cross, “We want to hit them with a little something harder going into New Year’s.”