Beijing — During the Chinese spring festival on 27th January, Serviceplan China launched a print campaign for Lotus cars warning people not to drink and drive.

Serviceplan China won the account in September 2019 after a pitch with 4 other agencies. In order to reach a bigger audience, the fastest way to expand the brand’s exposure was to create a buzz on social media, meaning that Serviceplan China decided to break away from the stereotypical car commercial, showing cars racing on screen, to find a more creative way of visual representation.

The “Dont‘ drink and drive” Lotus print ads were launched on social media, Weibo and Wechat as social posters. During the spring festival in Chinese culture, drinking alcohol is usually part of festivities and family gatherings. So Lotus wanted to launch a series of print ads to remind people how important it is not to drink and drive.

In China the use of any visual elements implying alcohol is restricted in advertising campaigns, so the creative directors at Serviceplan China had to find a clever idea to show the influence of drinking without showing alcohol. In order to represent visually the dangers of drink driving without showing alcohol, the print ads featured jumbled up sentences with subtle misplaced characters in Chinese, to let customers realize that even if you see the mistake, you may not notice it when under the influence of alcohol.

The print ads used overlapped cars to show that alcohol would possibly makes you unable to estimate the right distance and position while driving. The creative challenge for this campaign was that Lotus, as a sports car brand with the motto “For the Drivers”, always stands for the pure thrilling driving pleasure, which can make it difficult to find a balance between driving and responsible driving.

So Serviceplan China’s Chief Creative Officer Chong Kin and Associate Creative Director Sun Zhen worked together to find a creative solution. Chong Kin explains: “We decided to base the print ads around a physiological phenomenon: when you read a wrong sentence with misspelled words, your eyes and brain will execute an auto-correction to allow you understand the full sentence, and you won’t feel anything wrong at all. And it’s exactly what you feel after drinking: “there’s nothing wrong with me“. So these print ads were designed to illustrate how important it is to understand that alcohol can confuse your senses and cloud your judgement, and therefore it is not advisable to drink and drive.“


Client: Lotus
Project: Don’t drink & drive Print
Chief Creative Officer: Chong Kin
Associate Creative Director: Sun Zhen
Copywriter: Ai Yu
Art Director: Song Sijia / Chen Kunying / Zhou Yaohui

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