PSA: Lose Your License in Australia and You're...

July 27, 2011
Advertising and just about most media from Australia have always proven to be different, unique, and dare I say, risqué. But Australians have always told it like it is, they tend not to beat around the bush. Heck, look at their most notorious export after those Paul Hogan movies, Mr. Rupert Murdoch, not a man to mince words.

But Australians aren't just direct, they also have a great sense of humor. Their films and advertising seem to take a direct approach to messaging, but with some great levity.

To demonstrate this point, below there are three excellent ads on the consequences of losing your driving license. The message is as direct as it can get: Lose your license, and you're screwed. That is the tagline, reported straight as fact.

The ads, made by Clemenger BBDO Adelaide, are aimed at, and all about, young Australian males. They show what happens when you aren't allowed to drive -- because you lost your privilege to drive -- and the social burdens that it carries with it. Targeting male pride is the theme here, and ensuring it doesn't get too inflated, and lead to accidents or worse is the goal. Check out the excellent Website the Australian Motor Accident Commission put up and you'll get the picture. They even give you tips on when you're screwed (their words, not mine).

Regarding these ads, they are all done superbly. Short, to the point, and funny. My favorite is the young, macho Australian Rules footballer who crawls over his mom into his pickup from the driver's side, where his mom is sitting, as he isn't allowed to drive. The timing and acting are great, the beat up pickup (a.k.a. Feral in Australian slang) couldn't have been better chosen. However, the ad of the young couple making out in a taxi, while the meter is running, is also pretty good. A $300 taxi ride is nothing to sneeze at.

Are these ads effective? Hard to say as the mixture of youth, cars and accidents is a serious subject. The results of poor driving, especially if texting is involved, are catastrophic. But this is an interesting approach to raising awareness of the costs of losing one's license.

Enjoy the ads and let me know if you find them effective. They certainly are funny.


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