Blue drinks and tequila shots might be back, but drinking and driving isn’t

Who: Smart Serve Ontario, with McCann Canada’s content and production arm, Craft. Directed by Jonah Haber.

What: “You still can’t do that,” a holiday reminder that while things are slowly returning to normal after a trying couple of years, (or at least they were until the Omicron variant became a thing), drinking and driving is still not okay.

When & Where: The spot is on TV now, running through the holiday season.

Why: A return to holiday parties means a spike in incidents of drinking and driving. Just this month, Toronto police apprehended 34 impaired drivers between Friday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 6, the highest-ever number for one weekend.

“We know that everyone is happy to be able to get out in the world and have some fun again,” said Smart Serve Ontario executive director, Richard Anderson. “But the fact remains that even one drink can affect your driving—there really is no safe amount. As people get back out there, we want to drive home the message that if you’ve been drinking, getting behind the wheel is never worth the risk.”

How: The 30-second spot shows people engaged in a variety of alcohol-related events, from tasting at a vineyard, to doing shots at a bar, to going to a restaurant and ordering some sort of blue concoction in a fishbowl-sized glass, served by a waiter in a pirate costume. The voiceover talks about the return to normal, but over a final shot of a hand reaching for a key fob, reminders viewers “But you still can’t do that.”

And we quote: “This was an important campaign for us to get involved with,” said Travis Wood, Craft Canada’s head of content. “We had the pleasure of working with the incredibly talented director, Jonah Haber, who delivered on our idea to produce a funny, modern take on alcohol consumption in a ‘coming out of COVID’ type of world. Jonah brought on Adam Madrzyk, a brilliant cinematographer known for shooting with Drake, and together they brought the creative idea to fruition. A special shout out to Studio Feather, who donated their time to colour grade the piece.”

Chris Powell