Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has a new strategy to combat drunk driving and substance abuse — a music video.
Through chilling commercials and videos, the organization has informed youth, rather grimly, of the disastrous consequences of intoxication. Yet despite MADD’s many successes, its message has consistently been trumped by juggernauts of mainstream media. The film and music industries in particular, MADD notes, continue to berate youth with the idea that partying to excess is cool, which has prompted the organization to take off its gloves, get in the ring and do what it does best: craft a memorable video that will inspire viewers to be more responsible. It’s just that this time, they’re doing it with a little more bass and strobe lighting.
The idea for MADD to create an MTV-style music video came about in 2009, when pop group LMFAO’s hit, “Shots,” permeated party culture. “Shots,” an outrageous anthem that exists solely to get young people to ingest alcohol, seems so profitable for Bacardi, Smirnoff and other liquor brands that some say it was the product of a secret marketing meeting. Though the song may have no veiled producer, there’s no questioning it counters MADD’s agenda — no denying it’s the antithesis of MADD’s video campaigns. “Shots” features one obnoxious and redundant, albeit catchy, chorus: a bleated cry for more “Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots!”
MADD’s upcoming video retorts with the chorus of “Drink. Drink. Drink. Drink, responsibly!”
Citing the corporatization and mainstreaming of irony that has allowed the likes of Lady Gaga and LMFAO their absurd image (and made following them acceptable and popular), MADD seeks to hammer its message home to an audience that is willing to mock something and secretly applaud it.
“Drink Responsibly” is not just a winding punch to “Shots.” It’s a way of informing hipster-slick kids of the devastating effects of excessive alcohol consumption and how to avoid it.
“Drink Responsibly” closely follows the structure of “Shots.” The latter’s opening call to “get f***ed up” has been swapped for “get ready to be mindful.” A segment in which various shots are announced and subtitled in big bubbly letters has been altered. In place of Buttery Nipples, Lemon Drops and Jell-O shots, the tanned hip-hop chorus of “Drink Responsibly” belts out (in sing-along fashion), “Don’t need a cab . . . get home safe . . . smaller hangover.”
In “Drink Responsibly,” partiers refuse another round from the bartender and offer a knuckle bump; drunken friends dutifully hand over they keys to their convertibles; a busty blonde empties her martini glass after leaving it unattended on the counter; and throughout, a considerable amount of clear, refreshing, high-quality H₂O is consumed by beautiful Californians.
Does MADD acknowledge the dorky quality of its production? Certainly. But “Drink Responsibly,” like “Shots,” drops behind the veil of irony to convey its message — to be something different in order to be heard.
What has MADD dubbed the performers of their new song? FTW.
BTW: All joking aside, Geoffrey Line fully supports MADD, along with their previous, current and speculative/future campaigns.