Restaurant gives drunk drivers a helping finger

The Offer: TDA_Boulder‘s community service campaign for Colorado chain Hapa Sushi targeted parked cars throughout the Denver and Boulder neighborhoods where people most often go out on the town. Hand-shaped windshield wiper slip-ons made of cardstock were placed onto the front windows of cars so that when the late-night and potentially intoxicated drivers came back to their vehicles, instructions on the wiper guards gave them a quick field sobriety test. If drivers failed the simple test, they were instructed to call a taxi.

The Data: Five thousand pieces were left on parked cars in downtown entertainment districts, whether or not the cars were parked near a Hapa location. The pieces were left between the hours of 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., the times when people are most typically out drinking. The campaign was intended to build brand awareness for Hapa.

The Channel: The wiper covers could be easily slipped onto windshield wipers. Those drivers who deemed themselves to be under the influence or otherwise impaired were directed to call (800) TAXI CAB, a national number that automatically geolocates a cell phone signal and routes the caller to a local cab company.

The Creative: Upon starting their cars drivers would see the windshield cover, which read, “When to call a cab.” Beneath that text, they were given instructions for how to conduct the sobriety test: “1. Turn wipers on low. 2. If you have any difficulty following the finger with your eyes, we suggest you call a taxi.”

The Verdict:

Paul Notzold is senior creative director at Aspen Marketing Services, a marketing agency services division of Epsilon. He specializes in the mobile and interactive design and has done work for TIME, the 2008 Obama campaign, Merck, Rogaine, Neutrogena and others.

This makes for a cute case study video, but it’s assuming a lot from the participant. My take? “If you didn’t see this on your windshield before you got in the car, and turned on the wipers, you might want to call a cab, and if you can’t read these instructions [definitely] call a cab.”

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