“Something you know about your customer may be more important than anything you know about your product” – Harvey McKay
The Tombras Group and The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration just launched the Department of Transportation’s national impaired driving campaign. Agency of Record for NHTSA since 2004, Tombras works closely with our largest client to create spot-on marketing that resonates with the male, 21-34-year-old demo, which is most at risk. The “Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over” campaign is the culmination of months of research, creative collaboration and media planning for a truly integrated, multi-platform marketing effort. More than that, it’s advertising with a higher purpose – changing behavior to save lives.
During The Tombras Group’s tenure as NHTSA’s Agency of Record, alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities have decreased by 25 percent. Seatbelt usage has increased from 79 percent to 84 percent over the same time period, resulting in more than 12,713 lives saved. Tombras also worked on NHTSA’s highly successful “Click It Or Ticket” campaign.
Guy Jacobssen, senior vice president and media director for Tombras credits the agency’s “street smart” approach to account planning and research with uncovering insights that make for great advertising.
“Images of bloody crashes didn’t phase our target demo,” explained Jacobsen. “Young men don’t fear death. They fear negative consequences for their behavior. Being arrested is a powerful deterrent for drunk driving.”
Hence, the “They’ll see you before you’ll see them” creative concept.
“The approach of physically painting a cop into the background was both a challenging execution and a visually stunning reinforcement of the campaign messaging,” said Ryan Harvey, art director/designer, who worked closely with Pablo Alejo, technical director/developer and the rest of the Tombras interactive team to create the digital components of the campaign including the “Drive Sober” microsite.
“The site itself works subtly as a container for the overall campaign while adhering to the visual brand, Harvey said. “Factual data points are reinforced through easily interpreted information graphic animation – commonly called ‘infographics.’ To help spread awareness videos, graphic sequences and media downloads can be shared by viewers with family and friends.”
The $13 million national campaign featured TV, radio, digital ads and web video as well as a drunk driving YouTube game – all timed to support the Department of Transportation’s annual enforcement crackdown during the high-risk period from August 19 through Labor Day Weekend. More than 10,000 police departments across America participated in the effort.
“The work we do for NHTSA is Tombras at its best – from inception through execution,” said Alice Mathews, senior vice president and account supervisor. “We’re proud of our efforts and humbled to be part of a movement that saves lives.”