Reverse Psychology PSA Tackles Drug-Impaired Driving

Reverse Psychology PSA Tackles Drug-Impaired Driving

Partnership for a Drug-Free Canada (PDFC) have used reverse psychology in a national awareness campaign targeted at parents who think driving high is something only “other kids” do.


Research conducted by PDFC and Toronto-based creative agency Union found over 78 per cent of parents believe their child would never be in a car driven by someone who was high. On the other hand, a recent study by the Canadian Centre for Addiction and Mental Health found almost one in four high school kids admitted to having been a passenger with a high driver.

“We needed to not be like every other PSA,” said Vikki Thorpe, group account director at Union. “We decided to pull every one of those clichés into a single idea to basically wave our flag. It’s reverse psychology — ‘don’t listen to this ad,’ and then you’re kind of drawn into that ad, and then boom we’ve got you.”

“What we were striving to do in this campaign is to jolt people out of that, and say ‘you maybe don’t know your kid as well as you think you do, and it could happen to you no matter how closely connected you feel to your kid’. Have the conversation with your kid, it’s not enough to check in by text a few times a day.’”

The campaign also is running on radio, print, digital and OOH.


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