Click here to watch one of the new drunk-driving PSAs.
The Advertising Council and the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) will introduce two new drunk-driving prevention commercials for the holiday season that are edgier than usual PSAs.
In an annual project TVB calls Project Roadblock, it hopes stations will run the spots heavily during the week between Christmas Day and New Year's Eve, when there is more available commercial inventory—and lots more drinking. Last year, 47,058 spots ran on 1,300 channels.
The new commercials, spinning off the 25-year-old "Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk" campaign, carry the theme "Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving" first introduced last year. The new spots show a friend in an ambulance with his pal and a husband and his injured wife. In each spot, both uninjured passengers explain to physicians that they were only "buzzed," not drunk.
"What? You were just buzzed?" a doctor asks the husband. "In that case, she's just fine."
At that, the wife rises from the gurney, obviously injured and says, "Yeah, I'm fine."
"Really?" asks the husband.
"Nah, not really," answers the doctor as the woman collapses. The buddy spot is similar. (The commercials can be seen by visiting www.broadcastingcable.com.)
Since The Ad Council began running spots in 1982, alcohol-related traffic fatalities have fallen from 19,600 to 13,000. The Wenham, Mass.-based agency Mullen produced this year's commercials pro bono.