New Zealand's Transport Agency is continuing to use black humor to target young men with an anti-drink driving message, this time with a film that poses the question: If you died, who would your mates replace you with?
The PSA, a follow up of Clemenger BBDO's "Legends" campaign that began last year, centers on a group of guys who are trying to stop their mate, Jono, from driving home drunk. They start to wonder what will happen if he dies on his way home, who will be able to get them past Mad Mick, who owns the farm they have to cross to get to their favorite surfing spot? They kick off a list of random drunken suggestions of who could replace him, getting more and more ridiculous and including Jason Gunn, star of New Zealand kids TV show "Son of a Gunn" of the early 1990s, and Levi Hawken, who shot to internet fame in 2011 in a You Tube clip about a broken push scooter. None of them would work, and eventually they leap to stop their friend from stumbling into his truck, sending the spot into more heartfelt territory.
The ad ends with the words: "Stop a mate from drink driving. Legend."
Veteran director Steve Ayson directed the spot via his new production company 3&7. Ayson comments: "In real life these guys are constantly trying to out hard-out each other. But at the same time they would do anything for their crew. My approach is an aggressive combination of hard-out idiocy injected with a deep connection between loyal friends."
"There's a full mate code in place with these guys, and stopping someone from driving drunk is seen as a bit disrespectful to their manhood," adds Brigid Alkema, executive creative director of Clemenger BBDO. "This work aims to re-frame what intervention means, from protecting their mate to protecting their unique and irreplaceable mateship. The other thing we're fighting with these Kiwi blokes is no matter how much they care about each other, they'll never say it. So it's easier for them to justify their concern as 'you're useful to us.'"