MADD Campaigns

Section One

  1. The PSA of MADD targeted one ethnic (cultural) group in particular in its campaigns called Honoring Our Spirit.” Why did they do this and what did they do to increase their success with this group? Do you support this campaign or find it inappropriate in any way. Explain.

The PSA of MADD targeted the Aboriginal people as they were the most affected by motor vehicle accidents. The campaign targeted teens as studies showed that traffic associated fatalities were the leading cause of death in the population. The death rates in the Aboriginal people were three times more when compared to the non-Aboriginals in 2001. Further, they were more likely to be involved in alcohol-related fatalities. MADD targets the ethnic group to reduce the number of car accidents affecting the Aboriginal population that lead to death, disability and serious injuries. Success in the group was facilitated by coming up with strategies to improve the safety of road users by ensuring that the drivers do not drive under the influence of drugs and are careful on the road. I support the campaign as it addresses one of the groups that are adversely affected by road carnage and seeks to solve the root causes of the problem.

  1. Summarize 3 of the videos and impartially analyze how effective you think each is. In a fourth paragraph, elaborate on one that impacted you the most, offering support for your position.

The first video is titled “Honoring Our Spirit,’ and it is a campaign that was launched to support the victims of road carnage and their families. Most Aboriginal people experience trauma and grief that is associated with road accidents. MAAD collaborates with Native Counseling Services of Alberta to come up with ways of supporting families deal with life-changing injuries as well as the loss of loved ones that affect the Aboriginal more while compared to the non-Aboriginals. I think that the campaign has been effective in helping individuals deal with one of the social problems facing the community. Additionally, it has created awareness in the community by informing drivers that their behavior on the road could have an irreversible impact on a family.

The second video is titled “MADD Canada’s Project Red Ribbon” that was aimed at creating awareness about the need for sober and safe driving. The campaign concentrated on the New Year holiday and Christmas as it is the busiest time of the year and a high number of individuals are likely to drink. Consequently, the campaign was introduced twenty-five years ago with the aim of reminding individuals about the importance of sober driving. It can be seen that the campaign has been effective in reducing the number of cases of impaired driving. A red ribbon is tied to a car’s antenna to remind the drivers about the significance of sober driving.

The third video is titled “Not Ready To Go” which was based in the story of five teenagers that lost their lives and nine that were injured in an accident that involved multiple vehicles. It is clear that the video targets high school students and is effective in communicating the intended message as it demonstrated the negative impacts of impaired driving. The video addresses teenagers that are the population that is worst hit by impaired driving.

The video that influenced me most is titled “Not Ready To Go” as it touches on teenagers that are the leading contributor to road carnage in Canada. Studies have shown that car accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers aged between fifteen and nineteen years. Car accidents account for most of the deaths in the age groups. It follows that motor vehicle collisions are caused by drug and alcohol abuse and these causes families a high level of grief and suffering. MADD should focus on the campaign to save the lives of young people by preventing road carnage.

  1. If a PSA campaign leader sought your advice about a creating one targeted at you and your peer group (your generation, and within your sub-culture), what would you stress to be the most important and effective ways to connect with or influence your peer culture (media, issues, strategies, tools, methods etc)?

The most important aspect to consider in coming up with a PSA campaign targeting young people is effectiveness in reaching them. It can be noted that young people are adversely affected by car accidents. The drive should be web-based and should be shared using popular social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get the attention of young people. The campaign should advise them on how to drive safely and avoid driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs as it affects one’s judgment increasing the chances of car accidents. The campaign should involve influential individuals that young people can identify with and pay attention to.

  1. Consider a PSA that has affected you at some point in your life. Reflect on what the issue was, why it struck you, how it was presented and through what forms of media. Or else, consider a PSA that did not strike you, and think on what could have made the campaign more effective.

Different PSA’s have been launched by MADD with the intention of educating the members of the public about road safety and how they can play a significant role in promoting it. One of the leading MADD PSAs that struck me is titled, “It’ll Cost You Big Time.” It affected me as it highlighted the social, financial and family costs that are associated with impaired driving. Families suffer financially taking care of the members that are fatally injured during road accidents. The social cost of car accidents is intense as productive individuals are lost in car accidents and the society is robbed off young lives as teenagers are the hardest hit by the problem. The campaign demonstrates the seriousness of car accidents by highlighting its impacts on society.

  1. What do you believe are three most pressing issues/concerns facing young people today? Offer support for your choices, indicating where you encounter evidence of this, and how you see young people being affected.

Young people face a wide range of issues that affect their position and contribution to society. It follows that the three pressing concerns affecting them include drug abuse, mental health issues, and peer pressure. Drug abuse and alcohol use in social settings and at school and could cause accidents when they drive under the influence. Young people also face significant mental health issues that impact decision-making and have been linked to drug abuse in some instances. Peer pressure affects young people as they are influenced by their friends to engage in activities that could result in road carnage such as over speeding and drunk driving.


Planning your PSA advertisement

  1. What type of message do you want to send? Be concrete – clear and specific. What are the goals and objectives of this campaign? Give some sense of your passion or concerns be referring to evidence of this being a problem in your estimation.

I am interested in sending out a message that addresses road accidents affecting teenagers between thirteen and nineteen years. This group is disproportionately affected by road accidents, and the problem can be solved by teaching them about road safety and ensuring that they make sound decisions in the light of drug abuse, depression, and peer pressure. I decided to concentrate on the message as previous PSAs have addressed the general population. I feel that the young people are the future of our nation and they should be protected and taught on proper conduct on the roads preventing accidents from occurring leading to loss of lives, deformity and serious injuries.

  1. Who is your target audience (be sure to narrow down a specific demographic)? Profile your target group, referring to several specific traits/aspects that identify them?

The target group is young people aged between thirteen and nineteen years as well as their parents and teachers to instruct them on ways of promoting their safety on the roads. The target population is affected by two significant factors that contribute to road accidents which are peer pressure and drug abuse. They may engage in drug abuse as they feel the pressure to fit in which affects their judgment when driving leading to accidents. Teachers and parents should take a more significant role in educating teenagers about their behavior on the roads and how it affects their safety.

  1. What are the kinds of information will you need from your “focus group” to create an effective campaign? Remember, your focus group is your testing field, so you can poll them any way you desire to narrow down the focus of your pitch.

A focus group would be instrumental in the creation of an effective campaign as it defines the main message that should be addressed as well as the needs of the target population. I can get information on how the target group perceives the problem and how they feel about it. This will determine the level of awareness that will be adopted in the campaign. Information about the participation of other stakeholders such as parents, teachers and the school administration will be obtained from the focus group. The participants can also be questioned on the factors influencing their behavior on the roads. The information received from the focus group sets the pace of the campaign.

  1. List some specific questions you’ll be asking and having your focus group respond to. Give some sense for the merits of your questions (i.e. why these specific questions).

i). What is your name and age?

ii). What do you think about road accidents?

iii) Do you know anyone that has been involved in a road accident?

  1. iv) Do you think the behavior of your peers while driving is safe?
  2. v) What are the leading factors that cause reckless driving among your peers?
  3. vi) Have you ever driven under the influence of alcohol or any other drugs?

These questions are focused on determining the age of the participants and determine how it affects their behavior on the road while taking into account the factors affecting the target population. The questions are aimed at evaluating the knowledge of the target population on road carnage. The questions will establish the stand that will be taken in the campaign and the message that will be communicated.

  1. After you conducted some field investigation with your target group, did you encounter any surprises? Did anything you learned affect your choice of Ad campaign? Give some explanation.

The field investigation revealed that a high number of teenagers is involved in drunk driving and this has prompted the establishment of campaigns to address the problem. Most of the participants revealed that they knew of individuals that had been affected by road accidents. I observed that while most of the young people were aware of the effects of road carnage, they would still place themselves in a risky position due to peer pressure and drug abuse. This meant that the ad campaign had to focus on the impacts of drug abuse and peer pressure on the roads to influence behavior change.

  1. Which of the following approaches did you select for your message, and why?
  • Positive Consequences – emphasizing positive consequences to be achieved
  • Resistance Strategies – emphasizing different ways that teens can resist pressure
  • Negative Strategy – emphasizing specific negative consequences

I used resistance strategies and negative strategy in the campaign. I started by highlighting the need to avoid peer pressure that can affect decision-making while driving leading to car accidents. This can encourage teenagers to make sound decisions even when their peers influence them to make choices that could endanger their lives while driving. Further, the negative strategy can be utilized to lay out the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs, over speeding and disregarding the traffic rules. It is expected that these approaches will deter teenagers from reckless and drunk driving.

  1. What type of advertisement will you be creating (radio script, TV spot, print, Web-based, collage, powerpoint)? Why this medium? What are some of the challenges or limits; what are some of the benefits?

A web-based advertisement is the most appropriate for the present scenario. This is because teenagers often use the internet and are likely to come across the ad on popular sites. The benefits of using this channel are immense as young people use the internet frequently which improves the chances of the advertisement reaching a high number of individuals. Further, the approach is affordable while compared to conventional methods used in ads such as television and radio advertisements. On the other hand, the ad may fail to reach parents and teachers that have been found to be significant participants in the scenario involving teenagers and road safety.

  1. What will be the best scenario for getting your message across? (Are there any characters? If so, how many? Do you tell a story? A biographical profile? A focus on facts and figures?)

The best scenario for getting the message across is through an event to announce the aims and objectives of the campaign. The event should be attended by famous individuals on the internet, and the message can be communicated to their followers. The message of the campaign can be accessed by different users online through the use of posters to convey the intended message in a catchy and attractive message. The attention of the various online users can be grasped by including the figures of the teenagers that are affected by road accidents.

  1. What impression do you want to leave your audience with?

The PSA aims at informing the audience that they are responsible for their safety on the road as well as that of other users. Consequently, they should drive carefully and avoid intoxication while driving as it distracts them. The audience will be empowered to act responsibly while driving to prevent loss of lives and serious injuries.

  1. What can you do to make your PSA ad unique from other advertisements?

It can be understood that the PSA advertisements should be unique from other approaches that have been utilized in the past to promote its efficiency. The PSA is unique as it will use social media sites to reach a high number of people and to reach the target audience who are the teenagers. The campaign will engage social media influences as the teenagers identify with them and are likely to pay attention to the message that they communicate. The campaign relies on the distinctiveness of the ad to reach the teenage population that is adversely affected by road accidents.













MADD Canada. (2008). Honouring Our Spirit. Retrieved from   

MADD Canada. (2012). MADD Canada’s Project Red Ribbon – Celebrating 25 Years. Retrieved         from

MADD Canada. (2015). MADD Canada – Not Ready To Go. Retrieved from