Saturday, August 16, 2008

What's wrong with America (in handy video form)

I'm going to show you two videos designed to deter people from driving whilst under the influence of alcohol. One shows a handful of feeble, unfortunate chaps who are all caught by the police and made to look rather silly. The other shows a rather horriffic example of what could conceivably happen as a result of drink-driving.

(It's in German, but I'm pretty certain that this was made in Ireland and shown there first)

So after watching both of these ask yourself: which is more effective? Promoting an individual ethic of responsibility by making one aware of the possible dire consequences, or warning you that someone else will catch you in the act (for something that is portrayed in an innocuous fashion)?

1 comment:

Jason said...

Whatup Sul. You'll probably disagree with me on this one. I think the first ad is more effective.
It's unfortunate that this is so; at first glance the ad might seem counterproductive and a bit ridiculous. But it is probably more effective for the immature, loose-minded, inured cretins out there - which includes the majority of those who drink and drive. Appealing to noble motives is, I think, a waste of time with these people because they have already rationalised away their behaviour and see nothing wrong with it in the first place. Something like a car crash or killing a kid just seems so unlikely to happen and disconnected from their lives that the message has no chance at all of sinking in ("it will never happen to me"), in the same way that anti-smoking ads that appeal to health (and not vanity) are a complete waste of everybody's time.

The portrayal of guys like themselves being easily caught (and then facing the inevitable opprobrium) is far more likely to startle them into thinking the same could happen to them. Who else, after all, needs to be told not to drink and drive but the people who have been doing it all their lives - middle aged men for example, who aren't going to change their minds after watching a few ads and are not going to be imbued with an individual ethic of responsibility no matter how many horrific anti-drink-and-driving ads they watch.