Deflate the elephant - and help save a life

New LCBO campaign urges Ontarians to speak up to help prevent drinking and driving

TORONTO, Dec. 9 /CNW/ - Speaking up to help prevent someone from drinking and driving can be an uncomfortable conversation - but it's a discussion that could help save lives.

Starting today, LCBO launches Deflate the Elephant, an innovative and interactive ad campaign which acknowledges that drinking and driving can often be the "elephant in the room" - an awkward topic to bring up in front of others at a party or get-together. Knowing how best to respond in such situations can help prevent someone from driving after drinking.

The Deflate the Elephant campaign features an interactive online challenge at which simulates home entertaining scenarios where the participant must prevent a friend from drinking and driving. Make the right choices and the elephant in the room will deflate; make the wrong moves and the elephant gets bigger and bigger until it's too late to prevent your guest from getting behind the wheel.

The website (available in English and French) also includes tips for responsible hosting, addresses common myths about alcohol and features two 15-second LCBO TV commercials which will air on major primetime shows throughout December. Ads online and in LCBO's FOOD&DRINK magazine, as well as posters, signage and paper bags at LCBO stores will also promote the website.

"The LCBO has always encouraged customers to serve and consume our products in moderation. It's a responsibility we take very seriously," said LCBO President and CEO Bob Peter. "That's why it's important to look for new, effective ways to help prevent drinking and driving. We believe this campaign will help customers be responsible hosts and help ensure their guests get home safely this holiday season and year-round."

"Ontarians are well aware of the risks associated with drinking and driving. However, discussing those risks and acting to avoid them can be awkward," said Andrew Murie, CEO of MADD Canada. "This campaign goes beyond simply highlighting the risks to provide useful tips on what to do about them - how to deflate the elephant in the room and speak up to help save lives."

MADD Canada estimates that, in an average year, impaired driving kills more than 1,200 people in Canada and injures almost 71,000 more. The cost of damages as a result of drinking and driving is estimated to be in the billions of dollars.

For more information on this campaign, visit

For more information about other LCBO social responsibility programs, visit

See backgrounder attached. Campaign visuals available upon request.

                               BACKGROUNDER ON


    -   LCBO's integrated "Deflate the Elephant" social responsibility ad
        campaign includes: two 15-second TV commercials ("Sports Night" for
        men and "Girl's Night" for women) airing in Ontario from December 9 -
        January 2; digital video boards featuring the TV spot in men's
        washrooms in the GTA in December/January; online banner ads appearing
        until early January; English and French print ads in the holiday and
        winter issues of LCBO's consumer magazine FOOD&DRINK; and a new
        interactive website which simulates home
        entertaining scenarios and provides tips to help prevent friends from
        drinking and driving.

    -   The target audiences for this campaign are males and females 25-54.
        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 TV commercials will run Wednesday-Saturdays on programs such as
        CSI, Criminal Minds, Survivor, Mentalist, NFL and NHL games,
        Law & Order, Grey's Anatomy and The National. The online ads will
        appear on sites such as,,, Google

    -   In addition to this campaign, LCBO will leverage its 600-plus 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, counter decals, door
        cling vinyls, posters and single-bottle paper bags.

    -   The campaign aims to help reduce drinking and driving by providing
        new responsible hosting tools and resources for consumers and help
        address the possible awkwardness and embarrassment involved in
        stopping someone from drinking and driving as identified through
        consumer research.

    -   The "elephant in the room" idiom refers to a difficult or
        embarrassing issue, obvious to everyone but not discussed. Focus
        group research found that 80 per cent understood the meaning of the
        phrase and 88 per cent found it aligned well with LCBO's responsible

    -   The $1.6 million campaign was developed by Due North
        Communications Inc., while the interactive website was created by
        Dashboard Communications.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at Images are free to accredited members of the media/


For further information: For further information: MEDIA CONTACTS: Chris Layton, Media Relations Coordinator, Tel. (416) 864-6772, Cell: (416) 587-3729, E-mail:; Steve Erwin, Senior Communications Consultant, Tel. (416) 864-6875, Cell: (647) 339-5428, E-mail:

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