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‘Take a Cab’ Carries Drake Ad Students to Award

Alcohol Awareness Poster
This Alcohol Awareness poster was part of a campaign that earned a trio of Drake students a top national award.

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Students in Drake University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication earned high marks for their efforts to encourage safe drinking during Alcohol Awareness Month.

A pair of three-person teams from Drake took the first and third prizes in the first Public Service Advertisement Student Competition sponsored by the American Advertising Federation and Heineken USA.

The first-place “Reasons to Take a Cab” campaign, created by Drake’s Matt Kappmeyer, Kristin Headrick and Ashley Sinclair, advises against individuals getting into a car with someone who has been drinking. The team focused on motivating the target audience of social young adults to utilize cab services, rather than ride with a drunk driver.

The humorous ads list a number of reasons for taking a cab after a night of drinking, such as “Reason #42: Making Out in the Back Seat” and “Reason #68: Supermodel Cab Driver.” The campaign includes Internet and radio executions, and the print ads contain taxi cab calling cards” with the number to a taxi directory service.

“We had about two weeks to put the presentation together,” Sinclair said. “When we got our campaign together, we took it before our professors and a local advertising professional. They were very helpful and thought we had a good shot at winning.”

Third place went to Ashlee Davis, Lisa Diesing and Morgan Farl of Drake for their “Be a Parent, Not a Peer” campaign.

The contest challenged students to develop a public service advertising campaign that includes a print, radio and Internet advertisement execution. In creating a responsibility campaign concept, the students were able to address one of five topics, including encouraging parents to talk to their children about alcohol, discouraging parents hosting parties for those underage or providing alcoholic beverages to those under 21, discouraging the use of fake IDs, encouraging individuals to avoid getting in a vehicle with someone who has been drinking and handling peer pressure to drink.

Finalist teams are awarded monetary prizes–first place receives $3,000; second place receives $2,500; third place receives $1,500. All other finalists receive $500.