Like all right-minded people, I prefer my road-safety PSAs dark and disturbing, full of broken bodies, crushed cars and tortured tales of tragedy. Such messages have (pardon the pun) impact! Alas, there’s a trend toward more thoughtful auto-safety spots, exemplified by last year’s lauded “Embrace life” PSA. That clip was crafted by crumpet-dunking Brits, and I’d hoped it was an aberration. But now the Aussies have gone soft, too, with the Road Safety Council of Western Australia bidding us to “Enjoy the ride” (wasn’t that Nissan’s line?) in a three-minute clip from 303 Group that’s so pansy-poetic and unrelentingly uplifting, it’s a Down Under downer that will drive folks to dreamland. We’re told to take things slow and appreciate life and the road. At one point, we’re advised, in a half-whispered hypnotic narration, to breathe … breathe. Is this a Lamaze class? (It can’t be Le Mans at this plodding pace.) What’s the deal, mates? It’s fine to advocate slowing down on freeways, but can you get this somnambulant spot moving? Sure, speed kills. But it’s equally dangerous to fall asleep at the wheel.
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