The Don’t Drive Sleepy ad was created by Thai advertising company “BBDO” in a bid to promote safety in the roads (Linda). This ad shows its audience simply and clearly the consequences of falling asleep when one is on the wheel, and the risks that a person who is driving may face for underestimating sleepiness and tiredness, but also overestimating the ability of their body.
The ThaiHealth Don’t Drive sleepy ad targets drivers. The ad attempts to inform drivers that it is dangerous to drive when one is sleepy and so drivers should take the issue seriously. The ad tries to tell us that sleepiness when one is behind the wheel is dangerous as it impairs judgment and decreases awareness just like alcohol or drugs (Linda). Just like drugs, sleepiness is responsible for collisions on the road. Many people know that driving while drunk is dangerous, but they may not be aware that being drowsy can just be as dangerous as drunk driving; therefore, this ad attempts to pass this message to people in a creative way.
The market being targeted by the ad is motorists and the public in general, it is trying to pass the message of the negative impact of diving; when one has not had enough sleep. This ad’s style is print and is a Bangkok based organization ThaiHealth’s Don’t Drive Sleepy Project. The picture has several codes and signs meant to convey the general message of “don’t drive sleepy”. On the upper eyelid, there is an image that we can recognize as a car facing downwards when seen from above whereas the image at the bottom is of two people walking. It appears to be a parent and a child because one person resembles an adult while the other one is smaller and looks like a kid. We also assume that the adult and kid are related because we can see them holding hands.
The eye appears like it would close because we know that eyelids do close. When the eyelids happen to close, the image of the people (parent and child) and the car will meet. This will mean an accident because the closing of the eyelid will cause motion that will make the car hit the walking people. As we already know, in most cases of accidents the driver of the car is normally held as the most liable or responsible (Linda). We can associate the half closed eye with sleepiness due to our preconceived codes. By connecting with the image and the position of the car and people, we can see that the message is not to drive while drowsy as it may lead to accidents. When the eyelid closes, the people will be crashed by the car.
The ad cover’s the viewer’s attention by using imagery that elicits emotions. For example, the image of the people walking (parent and kid) is sensational since it shows that negligence of one driver can cause death or injury to one or more people. The family is also an important set up in our society; therefore, killing a parent and a child is like bringing this institution to an end. The ad also makes us feel insecure and inadequate on the road; this will make us create a means of filling that void. The ad uses imagery and capitalization of the words “SLEEPINESS IS STRONGER THAN YOU”. Capitalizations of these words support the ad by showing the seriousness or urgency of the matter and also serving to capture the attention of the audience. Sleepyness has been written with a different color (black) to show that it is the key word that should reach the audience (Fernedez and Rosen, 62).
The ad is effective because it uses a photo and cartoons that attract more attention compared to drawings. The picture in the ad serves to attract attention and support the message of the danger of driving while sleepy. The image is symbolic and engages our imagination and thoughts thus making it an effective advert. The use of images of people also attracts attention because people normally like to look at other people. Another aspect that makes the ad effective is that it places a common object (car) in an uncommon place (eye) helps to grab the viewer’s attention because we expect things and people to be found in certain places (Adam). The ad also captures the attention of the viewer by placing the people in a dangerous situation, and this instantaneously makes us recognize the situation as dangerous. The emotion of danger focuses our attention to the advert (Liu, 84).
There are various ethical issues that advertisements need to consider. The ethics at stake in this ad is a failure to take into account social or cultural consideration. The ad is culturally biased because the color of the person in the picture applies to a certain race (White or Asian) making it hard for a black person to relate culturally to it. Advertisements that capture the interest and attention of the people are those which spread compelling truth. Truth supports reputation, defines quality and ultimately is the source of success (Adam). The advert should, therefore, support its claims with facts on the actual number of accidents that result from driving while sleepy. The ad also elicits the emotion of danger that cajoles us into believing that sleepiness is the major cause of accidents on the roads.
Adam D. How Advertisements Manipulates Choices and Habits. Lifehacker. 2011. Web. 18 April. 2014.
Fernedez K.V and Rosen, D. L. “The effectiveness of information and color in advertising.” Journal of Advertising 29.2 (2000): 61-74. Web.
Linda C. Don’t Drive Sleepy Campaign. CMN. 2013. Web. 18 April. 2014.
Liu, Y. “Understanding The Interactive Media: Interactivity And Its Implication For Consumer Behavior.” Rutgers University Journal 30.2 (2001): 73-85. Web.