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Ad of the Day: Think eschews shock for Patrick Swayze parody in latest drink drive campaign

The latest drink drive ad from the Department of Transport's Think! forsakes a horrendous car crash – or even a car – to focus on an outwardly comical moment in a pub, in a bid to connect with men aged 17-24.

'A Mate Doesn’t Let A Mate Drink Drive' follows the story of two mates and their ingenious plot to stop their pal from getting behind the wheel after one too many pints. As their friend sets down a beer on the table, one of the trio lovingly caresses his pint from behind and begins to sing a dodgy rendition of Unchained Melody – ala Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore in Ghost.

The third concerned friend joins and eventually the whole pub erupts into song. When the pint is pulled away, it becomes apparent the outburst was a rouse to stop their pal from drink driving.

Devised by Y&R London, the spot aims to target young male friendship groups.

“While previous UK road safety campaigns have traditionally focused on the dire consequences of drink driving, the prevailing ‘it won’t happen to me’ attitude of this particular young male audience has meant such tactics have had increasingly less impact over recent years,” explained Emily James, Y&R’s chief strategy officer.

“This new strategy, rooted in behavioural psychology, eschews the conventional parent-child vernacular of traditional drink drive campaigns and instead draws on peer dynamics to police and influence the friendship group.”

The 60-second ad was directed by Jim Bolton and will go live on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter. A 30-second cut down will be streamed on video on demand.

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