LCBO's Deflate The Elephant campaign provides solutions for responsible holiday entertaining

TORONTO, Dec. 7, 2012 /CNW/ - LCBO's Deflate the Elephant information campaign is promoting responsible hosting and entertaining this holiday season by providing a variety of tools to encourage both hosts and guests to plan ahead to help prevent drinking and driving.

"LCBO wants Ontarians to enjoy safe and memorable celebrations with friends, colleagues and family this holiday season and year-round," says LCBO President & CEO Bob Peter. "The Deflate the Elephant campaign offers practical tools, like the new iPhone Speak Up! app and the holiday "elephant cab promotion, to encourage people to plan ahead, speak up and help prevent drinking and driving."

During December, Deflate the Elephant is partnering with Co-Op Cabs and Blue Line Taxi on a cab promotion to support the idea of planning ahead and getting home safely. Approximately 175 cabs in Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa will promote the campaign. Also every Saturday (starting December 8 until December 29) from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., there will be a small number of specially outfitted cabs in those cities. If people spot these special cabs, marked by a large elephant sign on the roof, passengers will receive a free $10 cab ride.

The new, free Speak Up! iPhone app is a one-stop resource to help responsible hosts plan safe and memorable get-togethers from start to finish. This app (available through Apple's iTunes store) includes: pre-party planning tips; more than 50 easy-to-make, alcohol-free Mocktail recipes to serve all guests during the party; and a Speak Up! maze challenge to help deflate situations if a guest who has been drinking wants to drive. This challenge will help the host break the ice without breaking the mood to convince the guest to get home safely by offering alternatives such as taking a cab or public transit, going with a designated driver or staying the night.

The campaign's website ( and also offers practical tips, videos and an interactive "Home Bartending Challenge" where visitors can learn the proper pour for wine, beer, spirits and coolers. Part of being a responsible host is measuring drinks for guests instead of running the risk of an open bar. Users can earn "Pour Master" badges and share results with friends on Facebook or Twitter.

The Deflate the Elephant Facebook page ( is an online community where people share hosting tips, advice and personal stories on how to speak up and help prevent friends and family from driving after drinking.

A holiday-themed, 15-second TV commercial airing on major Ontario networks and an online campaign start on December 3 and continue throughout the month to encourage responsible hosting.

For more information on this campaign, visit and for other LCBO social responsibility programs, visit



  • LCBO's integrated "Deflate the Elephant" social responsibility education campaign includes: a holiday-themed 15-second TV commercial airing in Ontario and media banner ads on popular websites during December; English and French print ads in the holiday issue of LCBO's consumer magazine FOOD&DRINK; an interactive website which provides tips, tools and a free iPhone app to help prevent friends from drinking and driving; and a Facebook page (
  • During December, "Deflate the Elephant" is partnering with Co-op Cabs in Toronto and Blue Line Taxi in Hamilton and Ottawa to encourage people to plan ahead and get home safely. Approximately 175 cabs will be decorated with campaign signs. Also, every Saturday, starting December 8 until December 29, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., there will be a small number of specially outfitted cabs in these cities. If people spot these special cabs, marked by a large elephant on the roof, passengers will receive a free $10 ride.
  • Also new this year is the free Speak Up! iPhone app. It is a one-stop resource to help the responsible host plan a safe and memorable party from start to finish. It includes pre-planning hosting tips, more than 50 alcohol-free Mocktail recipes and the Speak Up! maze challenge to help convince a guest who has been drinking not to drive.
  • LCBO will leverage its 628-store network to bring the "Deflate the Elephant: Speak up. You could save a life" message to customers at a time of year when entertaining increases. The campaign creative will appear in all LCBO stores throughout December on point-of-sale screens, shelf signs, shopping cart signs, checkout counter decals and parking lot signs.
  • Historically LCBO anti-drinking and driving campaigns have primarily targeted the friend of the male driver. Research indicates women are becoming increasingly likely to engage in drinking and driving.
  • The "elephant in the room" idiom refers to a difficult or embarrassing issue, obvious to everyone but not discussed. Focus group research found that 81 per cent understood the meaning of the phrase and 88 per cent found it aligned well with LCBO's responsible brand.
  • The $1.4 million campaign was first launched in December 2009 and has continued to evolve since; it was developed by One agency (formerly Due North Communications), while the iPhone app and website were created by Dial


For further information:


Heather MacGregor, LCBO Media Relations Co-ordinator      
Tel.: 416 864-6772; Cell. 416 587-3729; E-mail:

Stephanie Petroff, Sr. Communications Consultant
Tel.: 416 864-6792; E-mail: 


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