New J. Walter Thompson Auckland Campaign for Auckland Transport Dangles Lure Of A Happy Ending To A Night Out

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Campaign is designed to encourage couples to reward each other for abstaining from alcohol when driving

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There’s only one thing more persuasive than beer, and that’s the chance of a smooch at the end of the night.

Despite decades of anti drink-driving advertising, young drivers in Auckland still often drive after a drink or two – so Auckland Transport decided to shift gears. Using sex and humour to address a deadly serious issue, J Walter Thompson and Auckland Transport have developed a ‘Happy Ending Voucher’ to encourage couples to reward each other for abstaining from alcohol when driving.

“A good end to the night makes for a good night out,” said Mark Hannan, a spokesman for Auckland Transport. “The purpose of this campaign is to communicate the key message that sober driving means having zero drinks. It’s very difficult to estimate how many alcoholic drinks a person can have before they reach their limit.”

Between 2010 and 2014, almost 59% of death and serious injury crashes on roads in Auckland were alcohol or drug-related. Auckland Transport wanted to persuade the target audience – 25 to 39-year-olds – that zero drinks was the only safe policy.

Since 82% of the target audience is in a relationship, they made a strategic decision to shift the target to the driver’s significant other, the most influential person in their life.

Available at clothing stores and hair and nail salons, the Happy Ending voucher uses an alcohol screening litmus test pad that a partner “licks” to show they are drink-free, in order to “redeem” their voucher.

The voucher packaging, advertising and Facebook film feel like a sensual ad for perfume or designer fashion, marking a major shift from the usual shock tactics of anti-drink-driving campaigns, to delayed gratification and reward.

“The Happy Endings Voucher creates a currency for couples to reward each other for driving sober.” said Cleve Cameron, Executive Creative Director of J. Walter Thompson Auckland. “There’s only one thing more persuasive than beer, and that’s the chance of a smooch at the end of the night.”

The Happy Ending campaign runs from January to March 2016 and includes social media, online video, outdoor, editorial and direct marketing.

The campaign site and video can be viewed here.

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J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, the world’s best-known marketing communications brand, has been making pioneering solutions that build enduring brands and business for more than 150 years. Headquartered in New York, J. Walter Thompson is a true global network with more than 200 offices in over 90 countries, employing nearly 10,000 marketing professionals. The agency consistently ranks among the top networks in the world and continues a dominant presence in the industry by staying on the leading edge—from hiring the industry's first female copywriter to developing award-winning branded content today.

J. Walter Thompson opened its first office in the Asia in 1929, and today employs over 3,800 people in 53 offices across 18 countries in the region.

For more information, please visit and follow us @JWT_Worldwide and @JWTAsiaPacific.

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