Ogilvy flips strategy for drink driving campaign

RBT Plan BOgilvy has unveiled the first campaign for newly formed government agency, Transport for NSW.

The work aims to create behavioural change by combining a positive prevention message with reinforcement of the risks of drink driving.

Previous work focused on the consequences of drink driving whereas this campaign uses positive reinforcement.

The campaign primarily targets young men aged 17-25. The communication strategy was developed after research by the Centre for Road Safety showed many instances of drink driving occur after drinkers have driven to a venue without planning how to get home.

Andrew Baxter, CEO of Ogilvy Australia said in a press release: “Our solution was to dramatise the exhaustive list of ways young people can get home rather than choosing to drink drive, hence the tagline “RBT means you need a plan B”. We have shot a multitude of ‘Plan B’ scenarios – some legitimate, some wildly fictitious – which will unfold over time to maximise engagement and keep the campaign fresh. This is a major campaign which we anticipate will run for many years.”

Ogilvy created the previous “Paranoia” campaign which ran for six years.
The campaign extends across TV, cinema, outdoor, in-venue advertising with a strong digital component.


ECD – Brett Howlett
CD – Russell Smyth
Head of Art – Michel Raso
Snr Writer – Dom McCormack
Snr Art Director – Liam Hillier
National Planning Director – Mark Sareff
Planner – Pippa Kulmar
General Manager – Richard Carr
Snr Account Manager – Jed McMillan


  1. Graham
    21 Aug 12
    2:42 pm

  2. Ghost chips!

  3. no-one important
    21 Aug 12
    3:34 pm

  4. i like it but am not convinced it will change the behaviour of arrogant arses who think it’s ok to drink and drive and they’re above everyone else. In order to change behaviour people need to accept that what they’re doing is wrong and no ad campaign no matter how creative or good it is will stop people drinking and driving or speeding and change the behaviour of people who believe they haven’t done anything wrong, especially when the court system hands down sentences or fines that are as pointless as a broken pencil and people say ‘I was only a little bit over’. You want to change behaviour then make people accountable for their actions. Don’t send them to jail but rather make them work with the SES, fire brigade and ambulance service and pull dead bodies out of car crashes that speeding or drink drivers have caused. But that would never happen because the bleeding heart, politically correct liberals would say that’s too harsh and traumatic. And for repeat offenders take their licence, not for a few months, not a year but permanently.

    Also Tim on a side note is there a way of turning off that f***ing facebook recommend banner that constantly pops up while I’m trying to read a story?

  5. Brent Heatley
    22 Aug 12
    3:14 pm

  6. Being silly and irreverent is okay for getting attention, but fails the resonance test on changing irresponsible behaviour. A smarter strategic option might be to personify ‘Plan B’ – a cool guy who gets noticed in alcohol-fueled social settings because he sips juice, engages in interesting conversation with ladies, and is there as your backup buddy in those moments of over-the-limit self doubt.

  7. leggytron
    23 Aug 12
    9:23 am

  8. The paranoia ads suggest you can try your luck drink driving, but you’ll probably get caught, there’s no advice on what young drivers should be doing in the situation, even his mate doesn’t try to stop him!!

    I think ‘PLAN B’ is a clear, positive message from the RTA and Ogilvy. (blue thumbs up symbol)

  9. Anonymous
    23 Aug 12
    12:39 pm

  10. Agree with Brent. The ad is distracting and messy, and there are better ways of driving home (!) the message. Behavour-modelling would be one of my top picks for a good strategy. The whole designated driver thing took off in the USA when MADD succeeded in having designated drivers written into tv programs and hence conveyed the idea of social expectation and acceptability. We also need more innovative solutions to the practical issues of getting people home. The concentration of drinking establishments city centres, as opposed to the tradition of local pubs closer to where people live, is also a big part of the problem. Would be good to see some ‘prompts’ at the bar to remind drinkers (who are on mental auto-pilot when then order) that they might want to switch to a non-alcoholic drink (which should be attractively priced and should include options from a more interesting and extensive range).