Featured Image for Mirror comes alive as DUI prisoner talks nightclub patrons out of drink-driving
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Mirror comes alive as DUI prisoner talks nightclub patrons out of drink-driving

A bar in Los Angeles has pulled off one of the most confronting and brilliant anti drink-driving campaigns of all-time.

When party-goers head for the loo, they see a face that’s not their own staring back at them in the mirror.

It’s not an alcohol-induced hallucination – looking them dead in the eye, in blue prison overalls, is Kris Caudilla, a convict at RMC Correctional Facility in Florida.

He eases in with some gentle banter about their night, before getting real.

Real real.

“I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m talking to you from prison”

“One night I was drinking out with friends, I drove…and killed somebody.”

Kris then tells his heartbreaking story of how, in 2010, he took a 44-year-old policeman from his young family and how he has to live with that reality every day.

The guys in the bathroom don’t really know how to react – abruptly pulled out of their night of revelry to deal with the sobering realities of life.

And that’s exactly what the stunt is designed to do – make people realise just how quickly a great night out can turn into a fatal tragedy, that ruins not only your life, but those of innocent people around you.

The decision to not drink and drive is easy to make when you’re sober, but when you’ve had a few, your confidence is up and you’re on top of the world – that decision becomes a lot more difficult.

This PSA is a wake-up call that hits home harder than any traditional TV or radio ad ever could. Being able to literally look into your future when you’re at your most vulnerable is incredibly powerful.

“I made the choice to drink. I made the choice to get in the car,” Kris says after explaining he’s serving a 15-year sentence for manslaughter.

“You don’t have to make that choice.”

The three-minute video was made for the highway safety organisation, We Save Lives.

Due to state laws prohibiting live broadcasts from prison, Kris’ part was actually pre-recorded – ingeniously edited in real time to interact with the patrons.

Guerilla marketing can tend to be a bit hit-and-miss, but this is a spectacular example of how when it’s done well – it can be absolutely brilliant.

We tend to use a bit more of a heavy hand with our approach in Australia, this terrifying ad from the TAC effectively shocking everyone that watches it to not only never drive – but never go near any car or road again for the rest of their loves.

About the author

Technically, Riordan writes culture, politics and sport, but 80% of his words are direct quotes stolen from The Simpsons. He promises to tweet more at @riordanl and speaks words for The Zero Thumbs Down Podcast.

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