Rethink’s bar-based mobile ploy makes sure drunk drivers do

The humourous mobile and OOH campaign uses a cell phone 'breathalyzer' to introduce Keys Please's designated driver service.

A new and, ok, fake cell phone breathalyzer test is rolling out across nightspots in Western Canada.

To attract the attention of bar patrons to Keys Please, a designated driver service that transports customers and their vehicles home safely, Vancouver agency Rethink has designed a campaign that fools the tipsy into thinking they can get an accurate blood alcohol reading anytime, anywhere by blowing into their cell phone.

The comical ploy hasn’t ruffled too many feathers since it launched last month, and word of mouth about the service has been getting out. ‘The campaign is currently in about a hundred bars across Western Canada, with a much wider roll-out to follow,’ Chris Staples, co-creative director at Rethink Communications, tells MiC. ‘So far, response from bar owners and patrons has been great, with several hundred calls to our special phone line.’

On posters, coasters and tent cards, the toll-free number 1-877 EZ-ALCO-TEST leads callers to believe that a new electronic airflow conversion technology service utilizes their cellular’s microphone chip to convert a breath sample into an accurate measurement of blood alcohol content. Once the number is called, a recorded voice tells them to blow into their phone for five seconds, then delivers the kicker: ‘If you actually believe this works, you’re probably drunk out of your mind and may require a designated driver; stay on the line to be connected to Keys Please.’

‘We wanted to do something that would get people talking in bars,’ says Ginger Greenwood, manager of Keys Please. ‘Typical messages tend to blend in. Our goal is to make people think about how much they’ve had to drink – and give them a direct connection to our service.’

Founded in 1997, Keys Please has six locations across Western Canada, including Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg.