It may be the alcohol talking

Ads are made to either entice us into buying a product or warn and educate us about the dangers of a product.

But which is more effective? Consider a beer ad and a public health ad about drink driving.

The place yo be from where you'd rather be

“Corona” ads are all brightly lit, showing people on beaches or parties, just enjoying life. With tag lines like “Corona:” from where you’d rather be” and “corona: the place to be”. An audience is more likely to look at these kinds of ads because they are pleasant and represent happiness although that doesn’t mean they are going to buy the product.

“The idea behind the new campaign was to recreate the strong connection between our brand and its consumers, so that when they open a bottle of Corona, they leave everything else behind and start enjoying life in the place they want to be.”

only a little bit dead

Contrast the beer ad with a public health campaign against drink driving. We are shown a very dark ad with a young woman surrounded by debris. We don’t know the identity of the women, but that is how this public service ad reaches so many different people. She could be a wife, girlfriend, best mate, sister, or even daughter. This ad is aiming to target not feelings of self-protection, but the fear of losing someone the driver care about. It is also casting a lot more judgment on the driver than other drink driving ads. The tag line “only a little bit over? You bloody idiot” is really in your face as it doesn’t sugar coat the issue.

But is it really that affective? We remember the funny beer ads because they are just that, funny. But do we really remember and talk about the ads for drink driving?

September 5 2012, the Australian government launched this video about having a plan B. This ad focused not on the consequences of drink driving but rather emphasised making back up plans if you are going drinking. This allowed them to make an entertaining and memorable ad.

Which ad is most effective? Which ad needs to be the most effective?