UK’s anti-drink driving campaign


The UK government’s new Think! campaign attempts to mix humor and anti-drink driving, with a ‘Time to Tackle’ film featuring a group of friends kicking around a set of car keys to discourage their friend from driving home under the influence. 

The anti-drinking Christmas campaign’s key message is simple: Don’t let your friends drink and drive. Since its release last week, the video has had several hundred engagements and over 12,000 views. 

The video shows a group of friends at a pub drinking, when one of them announces they’re heading home. In response, the rest of the group look at each other and then kick the car keys out of the hands of their friend. This is followed by a background of samba music and the friends showcasing their football skills as they kick the keys around.

In the final scene, the car keys end up in a pint glass helped by the bartender, who exclaims, “right, taxi!” The film ends with a message on screen that says – “a mate doesn’t let a mate drink drive.”

The Christmas campaign is primarily targeted at young men aged 17 to 24, and it is one of the latest releases from the #MatesMatter awareness program that has been promoted on social media. 

According to the UK’s Department of Transport, young men are the demographic most likely to be involved in drink-driving accidents. In 2016, 280 young men were killed or seriously injured as a result of driving under the influence. Statistically, men between the ages 17 and 24 are four times more likely than women from the same age group to be seriously injured from drink driving. More shockingly, they are 24 times more likely than drivers over 25.

Prior to the release of this film, there have been 2 films already released for this campaign. In one of the two films, a couple are shown kissing until a man picks up his keys to leave. The guy then comically kisses his friend, shocking him into dropping his keys into a strategically kicked purse, which is deftly retrieved by the girl, saying, “Someone’s getting the bus home.”

In addition to being shown online and on social media, these three films will also be shown at football grounds, on Spotify and in pubs during the holiday season.

A recent RAC, or Royal Automotive Club, survey estimated that more than two-thirds of people would try to persuade their friend not to drive if they thought their friend was over the legal limit. The campaign is a response to this survey, and is set to run until January 3 next year. 

In explaining the reasoning behind the campaign, the deputy head of marketing at the Department of Transportation, Laura Kane, said, “Peers and mates are hugely influential in the lives of young people. Our latest THINK! Campaign leverages these relationships to tackle drink driving at Christmas – a time when social drinking is at its peak. Rather than communicating with the driver, we’re talking to friends.”

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