'Buzzed' Driving Campaign Launches


Friends don't let friends drive buzzed, either.

As first reported in B&C, the Ad Council and the Department of Transportation Wednesday officially launched a new "buzzed driving" campaign expanding on its two-decades-old "Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk" public service announcement (PSA) effort.
Over that two decades, drunk driving deaths have dropped dramatically from some 25,000 per year to 15,000, though they still remain the leading cause of death for younger Americans.

Looking to roadblock the spots in the run-up to New Year's Eve, the Ad Council is encouraging TV and radio stations to donate airtime between now and the end of the year. Last year, a similar holiday strategy drew particiaption from 86% of TV markets.

Some stations are also reporting on the campaign launch in their local news. 

The "buzzed" driver is the one who drinks but thinks it is moderate enough not to qualify for "drunk" driving, which in most states is a blood alcohol level of  either .1 or 08.  The new campaign is targeted to men 21-34 because the majority of alcohol-related fatalaties (59%) were in that age group, with the majority of those men.

The TV spots show obviously drunk drivers, then "buzzed" drivers who are don't recognize they are impaired, followed by the tagline: “Buzzed Driving is
Drunk Driving.”

The spots were created pro bono by the Massachusetts-based Mullen ad agency. The Ad Council puts creative talent together with donated media time for PSA campaigns on a wide range of subjects.