Ah, shock tactics. They certainly are good PR for the agency, as well as for the brand advertised. But do they do more than get attention?
My take (and my colleagues may or may not share this) is that this is a strong awareness campaign. But aren’t we all already aware that drunk drivers can kill people on the roads? In my own work on anti-drunk-driving campaigns, the research and insights have always shown that awareness of the dangers of drunk driving is not the issue. The real problem is that individuals can easily let themselves be in denial about how inebriated they are, and how their driving skills have been impaired by it.
Think! is a UK government organization, part of the Department for Transport. I would have thought they would have had research and expertise on-hand that would tell them this kind of stunt is more self-serving than in the public interest.
As well, if this stunt is “real” (and not staged with actors, as some seem to suspect) then isn’t the UK government setting itself up for significant legal liability if the loo-goers get hurt or have a heart attack?
Extreme stunts like this always make me go “hmmmm…”
UPDATE: Leo Burnett themselves say they used actors on bbonline.com:
The agency took over a pub in London and placed a fake mirror of similar size and shape to a car windscreen in the men’s toilets. The agency team then propelled a human mannequin through the fake glass of the mirror, shocking the unsuspecting punters, played by actors, using the toilets. The incident included accompanying, specially-designed sound effects, which brought to life the full horror of a road accident.Thanks for the tip, Kerry!