Graphic PSA "texting while driving" might be the best ad ever says Donny Deutsch

The Gwent Police PSA against texting while driving is causing a bit of as stir around the world, having people tweet things like "watch this, and never text while driving again", which would indicate that the horrific scenario that plays out in the ad leaves quite an impression. I know that I won't be able to shake the image of lifeless babyblue eyes while another child asks "Why won't mommy and daddy wake up" - but I can't even text while walking so I wouldn't even consider doing it while driving. I'm not the only one who thinks this ad is on the right track - Graham Creative says

Without road safety ads focusing on the emotional torture and aftermath of a crash caused by reckless driving, the human psyche easily moves such images to the back-boiler. This ad actually upset me.

The aftermath is the point of the PSA. At the end of the ad, our texting driver is taken away in a helicopter and she slowly closes her eyes. Is she dying too, or simply dying of shame? How would you feel if you killed your best friends, a baby and his parents just because you wanted to text a guy that your (now dead) mate liked him?

Agencyspy found that even Donny likes it. In fact he seems to be calling it the best PSA ever. I've never agreed wholeheartedly with Donny before. Maybe I'm getting old. I know I can't stand the way MSNBC edits in the crash-bits from the ad into their segment seemingly missing the point of the aftermath completely.

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ps - @downatheel reckons we should convince someone to air that ad in Italy as "Driving here is awful."

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Comments (2)

  • GrahamCreative's picture

    For far too long, governments target speeding. I don't speed, I took advanced driving and saw the light. But speed never ever kills anyone. Misuse of speed - careless driving does. Speed's easy to target but I'd not like to be hit at 30mph, or 60, even if the driver was 'obeying the law'. Let's hope it makes people think twice. Since I saw it, I've been even more aware of what will happen if I loose concentration and hit someone. Makes you shudder.


    Aug 26, 2009
  • kamari's picture

    That is quite upsetting. The key to this PSA working so well is that you spend so long on the aftermath, seeing what has happened. We've seen horrific crashes in movies and on TV and nobody dies, here the slow sinking feeling of the lives cut short is the message.

    Distraction on the road kills more people than speeding does.

    Aug 27, 2009