National festivals add to the usual dangers on the road. The temptation to drink and drive becomes greater and getting from A to B quickly becomes more important. During the Chinese spring festival on January 27, Serviceplan China launched a print campaign for Lotus cars warning people not to drink and drive. Serviceplan China won the account in September 2019 after a pitch with four other agencies.
The agency‘s first objective was to reach a bigger audience, so Serviceplan China chose social media. This meant that the Agency broke away from the stereotypical car commercial, showing cars racing on screen, to find a more creative way of visual representation.
The Don’t drink and drive Lotus print ads were launched on social media, Weibo and Wechat as social posters.
In China, the use of any visual elements implying alcohol is restricted in advertising campaigns, so the creative directors at Serviceplan China had to find a clever idea to show the influence of drinking without showing alcohol. In order to represent visually the dangers of drink driving without showing alcohol, the print ads featured jumbled up sentences with subtly misplaced characters in Chinese, to help people to understand that even if you see the mistake, you may not notice it when under the influence of alcohol.
The print ads used overlapped cars to show that alcohol would possibly make you unable to estimate the right distance and position while driving.
The creative challenge for the campaign was that Lotus, as a sports car brand with the motto, For the Drivers, stands for the pure thrilling driving pleasure, which can make it difficult to find a balance between driving and responsible driving. Serviceplan China chief creative officer, Chong Kin, explained the solution he found with associate creative director, Sun Zhen, „We decided to base the print ads around a physiological phenomenon: when you read a wrong sentence with misspelt words, your eyes and brain execute an auto-correction to allow you understand the full sentence, and you won’t feel anything wrong at all. And it’s exactly what you feel after drinking: ‚there’s nothing wrong with me‘. So these print ads were designed to illustrate how important it is to understand that alcohol can confuse your senses and cloud your judgement, and therefore it is not advisable to drink and drive.“
Agency: Serviceplan China
Chief Creative Officer: Chong Kin
Associate Creative Director: Sun Zhen
Copywriter: Ai Yu
Art Directors: Song Sijia, Chen Kunying & Zhou Yaohui