RK Venture

Blog Entry

ZeroProof, New Mexico’s underage drinking awareness campaign, is getting national attention. RK Venture’s campaign combats the serious problem of underage drinking which can cause a host of problems including traffic fatalities and crashes.

Last year the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) presented at the 2017 Strategic Communications Forum in Washington D.C. to communicate our state’s plans and network with our colleagues. The National Law Enforcement Liaison Program (NLELP) were impressed by the ZeroProof campaign, its unique positioning and strategy, and chose to publish it as their lead article in the Law Enforcement Liaisons (LELs) newsletter, a publication whose mission is to promote national highway safety programs, initiatives and campaigns.

What’s the Worst That Can Happen?

RK Venture has the privilege again to work with the New Mexico Department of Transportation to raise public awareness regarding unsafe driving behavior. For nearly ten years, we have focused our efforts on reducing drunk driving and other unsafe driving dangers on the roads of our home state. During that time, we’ve seen New Mexico drunk driving related fatalities fall nearly 40%.

Our most concentrated public awareness efforts have always revolved around “100 Days and Nights of Summer,” a statewide effort which includes stepped up law enforcement. Radio, outdoor and television are our main outlets for this extensive public awareness campaign.

For this year’s campaign, we decided to take a very graphic, hard-hitting approach to our message and visuals. Sometimes the best way to reach an audience is to present them with something so shocking that they can’t help but react.

We want the ‘What’s The Worst That Can Happen?’ campaign to reflect the reality of just how deadly impaired and distracted driving is. To achieve this, we reached out to frequent collaborator Sean Broughton. Sean was at the helm of a number of our previous NMDOT spots, including the Addy and Telly award-winning spots, “Reverse” and “Last Call.”

 Sean Broughton (left) directs members of the Albuquerque Fire Department before a pivotal rescue scene in the BKLUP TV spot.

Sean Broughton (left) directs members of the Albuquerque Fire Department before a pivotal rescue scene in the BKLUP TV spot.

 Covered in stage blood and realistic looking makeup wounds, two actors discuss their dramatic, post-crash scene.

Covered in stage blood and realistic looking makeup wounds, two actors discuss their dramatic, post-crash scene.

 A peek behind the scenes as the production crew prepares the staging of the ENDWI crash scene.

A peek behind the scenes as the production crew prepares the staging of the ENDWI crash scene.

We knew that his expertise with visual effects, not to mention that fact that he has collaborated with Stanley Kubrick, Spike Lee and other renowned filmmakers, would result in spots that would startle with their realism, and thus, instigate behavioral changes among drivers.

Not surprisingly, the new campaign is getting its share of attention in the media, both locally and nationally. The campaign was recently featured on national media sites such as Creativity Online and the well-respected industry magazine AdWeek.

While locally, a recent news feature on KRQE created a lively discussion on social media, revolving around the pros and cons of the graphic nature of the spots. This is exactly the kind of attention we hoped for around this campaign, and if the result is that more people decide to not drink and drive, to wear their seatbelts, and to put that phone away when driving, we consider this a success.

Rachel Kennedy