Fun, fails and breathalysers intertwine to show the perils of drink driving

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WELLINGTON, Today: Clemenger BBDO has devised a new drink/drive campaign for the NZ Transport agency, entitled Totally Compos Mentis.

Clemenger ECD Brigid Alkema said: The ‘drink, drive, get snapped’ message is a familiar one for Kiwi guys. They know the cops are out there. And they know the cops are busting people. They just don’t reckon they’ll be the one on the receiving end of a breathalyser.

“Reality is, they are getting busted. Different guys, on different nights, in different parts of the country are all ending their night the same way. It’s the same old story. Over and over.”

NZTA ad advisor Rachel Prince said: “85% of drink drivers involved in serious or fatal crashes are male. 

“We needed a fresh way to land a hard truth with these bulletproof-feeling lads: wherever you are, whatever you’re drinking, if you get in your car at the end of it, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Totally Compos Mentis is a campaign designed to evolve over time. It launches with a hero film that stitches together eight stories of lads doing what lads do: drinking at the pub, at a flashy new tav – with their mates, the boys, the misses.

“The films can be reshuffled, reordered and reworked to keep the message compelling, and the consequences uncomfortable.”

“Their paralleled banter and antics combine together into a single narrative, following them as they each tread an all-too-familiar arc: drinking, then driving, then getting busted.

“Eight 15sec spots then give deeper snapshots into each of the lads’ nights. Regardless of what they get up to, the decision to get in their car always leads to the same result.

“This is only the first iteration of the campaign,” Alkema said. “On this one we traded a Word doc for a spreadsheet to craft eight scripts packed full of interchangeable moments.

“The films are designed to be infinitely reshuffled, reordered and reworked to keep the message compelling, and the consequences uncomfortable.”

3&7 director Steve Ayson said: “I loved building eight characters, and eight scenes; there was a freedom in letting loose with dialogue with the goal of being able to chop them up different ways.

“I wanted the viewer to feel the characters progression of drunkenness, so the getting stopped crept in quick, like the feeling when you turn a corner and there’s a check point.”

See the full campaign here:


Client: NZ Transport Agency
Creative Agency: Clemenger BBDO Wellington
Production Company: 3&7
Director: Steve Ayson
Media Agency: OMD

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