PA DUI U-Turn Campaign Case Study

The Pennsylvania Driving Under the Influence (PA DUI) Association wanted to create a forceful campaign to reduce underage drinking and driving among 16 – 20 year olds across the state.

The Objective

The ultimate goal of the campaign is to reduce the harmful consequences associated with underage drinking among youth — including arrests, injuries and deaths. Correcting misperceptions of normative behaviors associated with student alcohol use and underage drinking and driving is key.

Reinforcing the current empowerment campaign in place by SADD that encourages students to make better decisions about all aspects of their lives, The PA DUI Association hoped to disseminate accurate and inspiring statistics to students in a captivating way that would be embraced and viewed repeatedly.

The Challanges

One of the main challenges of articulating this message is marketing a theme of zero tolerance for underage drinking—and ultimately DUI—without overtly acknowledging that the target audience actually drinks.

By changing the perception of what’s cool, what their friends are really doing and what pressures are on this age group, the campaign needed to empower the audience with knowledge to create a radical 180-degree shift in perception.

The Strategy

We conducted focus groups with high school and college students and began executing all creative components, including a logo, positioning statement, copy, branding, and promotional items such as t-shirts, stickers, posters, buttons and custom U-Turn Visa® Cards.

Cimbrian also created We developed SEO and SEM programs to help drive traffic to the site. A Facebook page was created along with a Facebook ad campaign that spread the U-Turn message to our target audience, created viral buzz and eventually drove traffic to

Cimbrian produced compelling launch packets for high school and college students that invites them to participate in the U-Turn Public Service Announcement video contest. The contest creates viral momentum as students interact with each other online and face-to-face. The videos are posted on the web where kids can post comments and showcase their creative talents. The winning video will be used in a PSA campaign in spring 2010.

In addition, Cimbrian created a hip U-Turn lounge that held the attention of our millennial target with its three-dimensional design elements and colorful imagery.

Before rolling out the U-Turn campaign, Cimbrian met with high school and college students to make sure that U-Turn would resonate. Cross-marketing to high school and college students isn’t easy. We had to be sure that it translated well to a group with a wide variety of tastes, a short attention span and a keen sense of manufactured messages and posers.

The Results

Every marketing campaign needs to produce and then measure results. At Cimbrian, measuring results is tied to each phase of the campaign. We created a U-Turn website logger that continuously monitors all social media, analyzes visitors to the site, tracks event interest and attendance, monitors the social networking pages, analyzes visitors to the site, evaluates event interest and attendance and provides ongoing media analysis of our public relations work.

Cimbrian coordinated and executed a web conference to announce the campaign to students, teachers, law enforcement and government officials. To promote the webcast, Cimbrian sent out blast emails and letters. The webcast was attended by over 150 students and adults throughout the state.

In the end, the U-Turn campaign is not about preaching what’s right and wrong. It’s about providing real statistics to replace false perceptions. U-Turn empowers its audience to take action by initiating a dialogue that makes them “Think again.”

Why Cimbrian?

We know how to determine the right solution for a difficult challenge. In this case, we helped the PA DUI Association accomplish their goals through a unique, memorable, impactful and effective social norm campaign.

The U-Turn campaign was developed in phases and provided a multilayered approach using primarily non-traditional methods to create the biggest impact, produce the highest rate of return on investment and, most important, generate change.

We know how to execute a broad-based viral and public relations initiative, including a text message campaign, Facebook and Twitter pages, event posters, media placement of promotional video, email blasts, webcasts, posting to calendars, posting in blogs and forums, press conferences, traditional media relations and reciprocal linking.

Making this campaign an overwhelming success is exactly the type of focused creative that Cimbrian does best. The targeted creative has been key in establishing the overall brand platform, which serves as the benchmark for everything else we do. All efforts are measured against it and all messaging is in agreement with it.

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