Ho, ho and ho again.  Chris Martin and the rest of the Coldplay gang were joined at The O2 on Tuesday by Simon Pegg for a Christmas sing-a-long.  The band were in a cheeky and festive mood, with plenty of comment from Chris on the X-Factor and the ‘Strictly Come Voting’ fiasco

Anyhow, Chris [Martin] appeared this morning on Moyle’s BBC Radio 1 show where he played some Christmas piano jingles.  Remains me of the days when there was such a thing as ‘Piano House’.  Urgh.  Right, less of me.  I am sure that you want to see the lads with their antlers and Christmas hats.

The season of merriment and high-jinx is upon us.  Lo and behold this Christmas time for the usual mistletoe and wine.  And drinks companies at this time of year will be unleashing their campaigns to remind us that drinking and driving don’t mix.

Consumers and certain lobbies take a dim and cynical view of these campaigns, believing that they only purpose they serve is to further promote the alcoholic beverages that they sell.  All the world’s evils are laid at their door, giving them no chance to counter these claims.

Let’s be honest, drinks companies know that they have to educate their consumers and encourage them to be responsible.  After all, irresponsible consumers do these companies a disservice.  For drinks companies, awareness and educational campaigns are needed to educate consumers about how to enjoy their products.  But some companies campaigns appear to just give lip service to this.  They roll out these campaigns without knowing how their audience reacts to these campaigns.  They push educational messages that look more like a corporate internal advert than a campaign that will motivate people to be responsible.

Bacardi Limited is a company that this Christmas is rolling an education campaign that I believe will be well received by people.  Why?  Well, they have enlisted no other that seven-time FIA Formula 1™ World Champion Michael Schumacher, a driver that is the epitome of success.  A driver that knows that drinking and driving don’t mix.  But he isn’t just the face of a campaign that people are distant from.  Entitled Champions Drink Responsibly Bacardi Limited decided to roll out a competition whereby people can win the chance to have Michael as their designated driver.  In fact here in Britain being a designated driver is not something that people want to volunteer to become, which is why with Schumacher Bacardi is working to change this perception.  I mean, imagine being driven around a luxurious test track by one of the greatest Formula 1™ drivers ever.

Bacardi Limited commissioned three viral ads (see one here) and entered into a media partnership with MSN Cars, thus ensuring that their campaign would reach the audience that they are targeting.  Using Burson-Marsteller they also ensured that this digital campaign links with other above and below the line activities.  A true through-the-line initiative that makes us all question if it’s worth the risk of drinking an driving.

People might still be cynical, but it is in everybody’s best interest that drink companies heartily promote the fact that drinking and driving don’t mix.  To enter and win a chance visit http://www.championsdrinkresponsibly.com.  And yes, it was a great campaign to work on!

The video here was filmed when Michael visited Britain in September to film the viral ads, which can be seen here:

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