60 Minutes ran a story a few weeks ago titled “Killer at the Wheel”. It was a story on drink drivers and how it has ripped apart families in a heart beat because some moron was drink driving. You can see the whole story by clicking on the link below (not sure why I couldn’t embed the video but it just wouldn’t work).
It hit me pretty hard, being a new dad of a 4 month old boy, and I found myself fighting back a few tears as I wondered what it would be like for a drunk driver to take him from us. I even have a lump in my throat and watery eyes as I write this now.
The story talked about how the law is too soft. While I agree that the law is too soft I also think advertising is to blame. Lately there has been a significant move away from shock tactics in campaigns against drink driving. An example can be seen in this ad.
This ad is not shocking. Sure it might be emotional but it is not shocking. This ad tells me that if I drink and drive and kill a child then I will at least get to spend the rest of my life with my family and lead a pretty normal life (albeit with guilt). It is just not a strong enough message.
If you saw the story on 60 Minutes, or watched the story above, then you probably felt sick listening to the mother talking about how she held her daughter’s decapitated head in her hands after a drunk driver hit them head on. Just stop for a second and imagine what that would actually be like.
It made me feel sick to my stomach. This is the feeling drink driving ads should be aiming for. And I think advertising companies should take the high ground and insist on stronger messages.