CreComm students team with MPI on new drunk driving awareness campaign

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The creative efforts of two Red River College students are behind Manitoba Public Insurance’s newest campaign, aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of impaired driving.

MPI’s newly launched ‘Bright Future’ campaign graphically depicts how a person’s future can turn dark when the decision is made to drive after drinking. Second-year Creative Communications students Rhianna Saj (above, left) and Shannay Smith conceived the story line.

As part of an assignment for their Advertising class, Saj and Smith submitted a project that was reviewed by their instructor and MPI staff, who’d been invited to evaluate student presentations at RRC. The team’s made-in-Manitoba concept was so impressive, MPI determined it should be developed into the corporation’s next campaign in its fight against impaired driving.

MPI found the dual meaning behind the ‘Bright Future’ theme to be particularly clever, as it intertwined a young person’s bright future with the bright lights of arrest and incarceration. It was this outside-the-box thinking that made the theme so appealing to MPI’s advertising department.

“This campaign is about young people engaging their peers to change attitudes around impaired driving — not the typical approach of talking ‘at’ this group,” says Ward Keith, vice-president, Business Development & Communications and chief product officer at MPI.

“The campaign was created by young people to engage their peers in changing attitudes about impaired driving. The target audience is hearing their own voice. This peer-to-peer messaging is what makes this campaign very unique.”

On average, 25 Manitobans are killed each year in alcohol-related collisions, and another 160 are injured. Drivers aged 16-24 are involved in more alcohol-related crashes than any other age group, according to MPI data.

“The [campaign’s] messaging is both powerful and relevant to our target audience — young people who have bright futures, but due to poor decisions, change that in the blink of an eye,” says Keith.

The campaign also provided a perfect opportunity for the students to prove how their training aligns with the needs of industry partners.

“We’re extremely grateful to Manitoba Public Insurance for allowing RRC’s Creative Communications students to develop a powerful campaign that promotes awareness of the dangers of impaired driving,” says Susan Andree, Chair of RRC’s Creative Arts department.

“With MPI’s support, and as they near graduation, Rhianna and Shannay are now on the way to their own ‘bright futures’ in the communications industry.”