By Hannah Bowler, Senior reporter

December 2, 2021 | 2 min read

The Department for Transport has released an anti-drink-driving campaign that taps into friendship and humor to stop people from getting behind the wheel after drinking.

‘Mates for Life’ was created for Think! by brand and customer experience agency VMLY&R. The 30-second ad features a man stopping his mate from driving drunk by telling him an elaborate and funny story over some chips at a kebab shop.

The campaign builds on VMLY&R’s ‘Pint Block’ campaign, which first introduced the idea of adding humor, positivity and friendship when speaking to young men about the risks of drink driving.

“Pint blocking your mate and stopping them from driving drunk unlocks a lifetime of adventures for you to have together. We wanted to celebrate one of these adventures in a way that would cut through to a notoriously hard-to-reach audience,” said Tamryn Kerr, creative director at VMLY&R.

‘Mates for Life’ is the first work to emerge from VMLY&R’s government retainer, which was brokered in early 2021.

The campaign is also part of The Department for Transport’s long-term ‘Mates Matter’ strategy, which focuses on male friendships in a bid to tackle low-risk perception in 17-24-year-old male drivers.

“We know that young men have strong friendship bonds and want to look out for each other. We hope that this thought-provoking campaign will tap into that drive to protect each other when it really matters,” said a spokesperson for Think!

OmniGov and Wavemaker are the media buyers behind the online campaign.

Think! has also partnered with alcohol behemoth Diageo to distribute the ad across its brands' Guinness and Captain Morgan social platforms. Captain Morgan has also partnered with reality star Sam Thompson to release 15-, 30- and 60-second social assets where he tells his mates not to drink and drive.

The campaign has been released ahead of the Christmas and New Year period, which is one of the most dangerous times of the year for drink-driving collisions.

OB Management was the production company behind the film along with Absolute, which worked on the post-production.

Transport Brand Strategy VMLY&R

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