Cool? Or Too Clever for Its Own Good?
Waiting for my daughter outside of what appears to be the only Dunkin Donuts within 100 miles of my home in Southeast Texas the other day, I heard the following public-serivce announcement on a Louisiana radio station. I have to paraphrase because it left me kind of dumbfounded, and I've not heard it since. But this is pretty close to what was actually said.
Announcer: "We know that most vehiclular accidents that involve teenagers are not the parents' fault, but if you're a parent who is acting irresponsibly and giving alcohol to your teenagers, this message is for you.
"If you're going to give your teenagers alcohol, remember that there's a chance they could get behind the wheel of a car. So why not make something positive out of this potential disaster and sign your teenager up now to be an organ donor."
The paraphrasing doesn't do this PSA justice. It was stark and matter-of-fact. Like a news clip. There was no url given, no phone number. Not even the name of the sponsoring entity (though I suspect it was the Louisiana Department of Public Safety).
Wow. I sat in my car and literally said "wow" three or four times. I was still sitting there dumbstruck when my daughter got into the car. When I told her about it, her reaction was the same as mine. But we each had a different understanding of it: I thought it was a really powerful anti-underaged-drinking message; she thought it was a well intentioned but poorly thought out pro-organ-donor message. (I'm still not sure which it was, though we both eventually agreed that my take on it was probably correct.)
So ... good messaging or not? We have a punch-in-the-gut PSA that literally left at least one listener speechless (no small feat when you consider it was me). It also supports two really good ideas (don't allow/encourage/facilitate underaged drinking; become an organ donor). But at the same time, it's a little confusing.