Bathroom Mirror Brings a Drunk Driving Message Direct from Prison

One thing about advertising – it’s a one-way affair. Whether it’s a TV spot, a poster, email, website banner, or taxi billboard, the ad is the message, and the viewer is the recipient. You can talk back to the ad, of course, but no one listens, because the message is directed at a multitude – not just you.

Except this campaign. The road safety organization We Save Lives created Reflections From Inside, which works differently from any campaign ever created. It might be termed a fully interactive anti drunk driving PSA – a screen in a bar men’s room which connects the patron to the RMC Correctional Facility in Lake Butler, Florida. In that institution Kris Cardilla is serving a 15-year-sentence for DUI manslaughter. Caudilla, now 32, was driving drunk when he crashed into a police car, killing a sheriff’s deputy, a man with a wife and four children.

“I don’t know if you can tell right now, but I’m talking to you from prison.”

This extraordinary campaign takes personalization to the ultimate degree: it’s a one-on-one talk between a drinker and someone who is paying for the worst mistake of his life, someone who wants others to avoid that mistake.

“I made the choice to drink. I made the choice to get in the car. You don’t have to make that choice.”

The question we often ask when confronted with a new approach to a drunk driving PSA – is it convincing? Will it work. In this case, we can see the reaction of the intended audience first hand. And it looks as if it’s really making an impression. Perhaps that’s because there’s nothing contrived, nothing dramatized, nothing deliberately exaggerated for effect. It’s just a man giving drinkers the benefit of his experience.

Bravo to We Save Lives for going all the way with the message.