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Now This Is A Hard-Hitting Anti-Drinking-And-Driving Spot

Men get a nasty surprise in the toilet. No, nastier than that.

When it comes to anti-drinking-and-driving ads, we’ve seen so much—so much gore, so many upsetting scenes of road carnage—it’s almost become difficult to shock, even with such an essentially shocking set of circumstances.

But with "Pub Loo Shocker," for the London Department of Transport’s THINK! initiative, Leo Burnett London manages to do the almost impossible and provides a genuine jolt—all the more surprising because the sudden trauma doesn’t take place on the road.

In the spot, directed by Rattling Stick’s Ed Morris, we see what looks like security-cam footage of gents using the loo and washing up in front of the mirror.

We’ll pause now while you watch the spot, which we STRONGLY encourage you to do before reading on.

According to the agency, the poor, unsuspecting blokes were actually actors, though they didn’t really know what was coming. It’s too bad that this stunt couldn’t be pulled on real people in real bars, as we suspect it’d be a message they wouldn’t forget (one imagines that the team was genuinely concerned about provoking coronary incidents in real people). To accompany the human mannequin that breaks through the mirror, the team also created specially designed sound effects, to lend an added element of reality to the displaced road accident.

What do you think? A sobering new twist on an often heard message?

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  • Chris Kelly

    The issue is not to shock people but to change attitudes within society, An advert isnt going to do that, it requires a more committed and long term approach. It takes time.

  • Kelly Scott


    I work at FoxP2 Advertising in Cape Town, South Africa and one of our accounts is brandhouse's responsible drinking initiatives, Drive Dry.
    This initiative is really close to our hearts as not only have we created some of our finest work - it's work that has actually made an impact in terms of both awareness levels as well as the number of drinking and driving incidents in our country.
    I think what Leo Burnett has produced here is excellent - both from a creative and effectiveness pov. Well done.

    Two of our Drive Dry ads:

  • David Blacker

    Not sure it works that well as a commercial, beyond the entertainment value. We all know accidents are unexpected, but we never think it'll happen to us. So how is this different to a well shot spot that showed an actual car accident? As an actual stunt it would demonstrate the fact better.

  • m wooten

    unfortunately research indicates that these strategies don't actually work to change drinking behavior. don't tell the ad companies. they're happy to take your money to create sensational spots! 

  • Dave1183

    If M Wooten is correct about the research - and keep in mind it would cover a large group of people, not the behavior of a few - then I would say he or she isn't being bitter, just realistic.

    A good example of being bitter is posting for the sole purpose of calling someone bitter. I'll see if I can find an example close at hand...

  • C.Lupus

    These strategies? They're are hundreds of strategies aimed at drunk driving. And while, I'm sure many of them don't change drinking behaviour, if one as hard hitting as this makes someone think twice after seeing it, even if it's just once or twice that's enough to save some lives. You sound like a bitter person and probably need to get laid.

  • Rob

    Wow. I say it's very effective. Drunk guy cruising along, thinking everything is OK and suddenly someone comes through the windshield. I imagine that's what it might be like in real life.