Your Hump-Day Recess: From Hot Wheels, A Small Reminder About Drunk Driving

Why don’t teenagers listen to their parents? Why don’t people pay attention to public service ads? Often , it’s the messenger as much as the message. If the warning is coming from a familiar source – such as parents or a government agency – the intended audience tends to tune out. Who wants to hear yet another proclamation from those people that are always telling us how to live our lives?

Change the messenger, on the other hand, and the message might get through. A few years back the advertising firm of Ogilvy & Mather decided to sent its anti-drunk-driving message via a much-loved source: Hot Wheels cars. The ubiquitous toys bring a smile to most people’s faces, which is why the campaign, which featured Hot Wheels keychains, hits home.

Hot Wheels Anti-Drunk Driving Message via Keychain
(click image to enlarge)

The campaign addresses a particularly tenacious misconception: that you can still drink if you’ve only had a small amount of alcohol. Mumbai has a serious drunk driving problem, and part of it stems from drivers not realizing how little alcohol it takes to be too impaired to drive. Drivers who drove to a pub called the Little Door found these attached to their keys when they reclaimed their cars from the valet.