In Advertising, Faculty News

This news release includes a report on the results of the collaboration of Pat Doyle, Manager of the Advanced Advertising Lab, and Jeff Sheets, Associate Professor of Advertising and Director of the Laycock Center for Creative Collaboration. Local Broadcast TV’s 12th Annual Project Roadblock “Puts the Brakes on Drunk Driving” PSA Campaign has contributed to significant decrease in impaired driving fatalities.

PR Newswire, NEW YORK, NY — December 8, 2015

The period between Christmas and New Year’s typically has one of the highest rates of impaired driving fatalities, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In an effort to reduce drunk and buzzed driving related incidents during the holidays, NHTSA, the Ad Council and the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) launched their 12th annual “Project Roadblock: Local TV Puts the Brakes on Drunk Driving.”

Project Roadblock was created in 2004 in support of NHTSA and the Ad Council’s Buzzed Driving Prevention public service advertising (PSA) campaign. To date, broadcast TV stations across the nation have donated more than $40 million in media to support this effort. The partnership aims to unite local television stations in creating a nationwide advertising roadblock by airing Project Roadblock PSAs (Public Service Announcements) between December 26 and December 31. Local broadcast stations voluntarily participate in the campaign by donating on-air, online and mobile time and space with a special push at 10 p.m. local time on New Year’s Eve. In addition, TV stations will be reaching out to their communities on social media to share social graphics and messaging to further reach audiences.

Buzzed driving campaign

Buzzed driving campaign

“Drunk driving remains a serious threat on our roads and claims more than 10,000 lives a year,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. ”Local broadcast television is an effective tool in reaching consumers, and we thank the TVB, all the stations, and the Ad Council for their ongoing support of drunk driving prevention, especially during the holiday season.”

For Project Roadblock 2015, local television stations will have exclusive access to new, sponsorable English and Spanish PSAs, titled “Life’s Doors” and “Viral Consequences,” created by the Brigham Young University Adlab and Laycock Center for Creativity & Collaboration. The local stations will also have access to additional PSAs, including “Neon Signs,” and “Solitary Confinement,” produced pro-bono by New York-based advertising agency Merkley + Partners. All PSAs underscore the financial consequences of buzzed driving in an effort to communicate that getting pulled over for buzzed driving can cost around $10,000 in fines, legal fees and increased insurance rates.

Buzzed driving campaign

Buzzed driving campaign

“These ads really hit at the heart of how young people make decisions and it’s been rewarding to have students create messages for their own peers,” said Jeff Sheets, associate professor of Advertising and director of the Laycock Center at BYU. “As a bonus it’s not every day that the world’s ‘Most Stone Cold Sober University’ gets to create messages that can help prevent Buzzed Driving. We find great value in being a responsible member of the community that can help raise awareness of preventable tragedies.”

“Fatalities related to drunk driving are 100 percent preventable and the spike in buzzed driving around the holidays is especially alarming,” said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “This grassroots collaboration with local stations really demonstrates the power of TV advertising to save lives and we’re so grateful to all of our partners for helping to raise awareness for this important issue.”

In 2014, Project Roadblock received a record $6.5 million in donated media. Since its 2004 inception, Project Roadblock has contributed to a significant decline in impaired driving fatalities during the winter holiday season.

The latest analysis of NHTSA annual data demonstrates a decline in impaired driving fatalities from 2004 to 2013. On average, alcohol impaired driving fatalities per day during the Christmas holiday period declined by 40 percent; and alcohol impaired driving fatalities per day during the New Year’s holiday period declined by 28 percent.

“Project Roadblock has made considerable strides educating drivers and increasing mindfulness on the road during the busy holiday season,” said John Roland, CEO of Extreme Reach. “This is an important issue and we’re pleased to advance a message that can help save lives.”

For more information about Project Roadblock 2015 visit For more information on the Buzzed Driving Prevention campaign visit

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