Brazil's New Drunk Driving PSA Makes Us Never Want To Valet Park Again

July 7, 2011
Driving while under the influence of alcohol, or any drug for that matter, is one of the most reprehensible acts a person can commit. Knowing that death and destruction to those behind the wheel and other innocent victims is all but assured still doesn’t prevent this from occurring all over the globe, in every country, every day.

There are many organizations globally aimed at combating the scourge of driving drunk such as M.A.D.D. There are enough statistics to make any reasonable person think twice before firing the ignition after having had a few. In the USA and Canada, over 12,000 people were killed in crashes in 2009 related to alcohol, which is a stunning number when you think about it.  Why do we not learn?

Well, Brazilians, due to a very high per capita accident rate, seemed to have taken a dual approach to getting their people to not drink and drive. On one hand they passed some tough laws, making it a crime if you’re caught blowing at .02 blood-alcohol level, compared to .05 in most of Western Europe and .08 in the USA. Stiff penalties ensue as well.

On the other hand, they are using some great advertising to get the message across. The ad below is superb and a testament to great creativity. It is sort of a "reality ad," with real people going out to a bar in Brazil and giving their cars to a parking valet -- who appears to be stinking drunk. The valet’s acting is wonderful: he plays a drunk so well, he has you convinced from the outset. Adding to this inspired brilliance is the use of Hava Nagila as the background music, starting at a leisurely pace and slowly ratcheting up as the hostility grows. Genius.

As the viewer, you know it’s a set-up just to gauge the car owners’ reactions, but the message is clear: Would you give your car to a drunken valet, or to anyone under the influence? Never. So don’t fall under the influence and then fall behind the wheel.

If you don’t speak Brazilian Portuguese, worry not. The ad has English subtitles. I think it’s brilliant and would love to know your thoughts and if you think it’s effective.


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