OHSO NYE Case Study


The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO) is a state agency that works to create and maintain an environment where Oklahoma roadways are safe for everyone. OHSO bases its work on several data-driven, proven solutions. Many of the research studies and best practices that OHSO uses are performed and distributed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Through educational campaigns, community partnerships and other data-driven strategies, OHSO works to reduce unintentional motor vehicle traffic-related injuries and death.


The holiday season represents one of the deadliest periods of the year, as it relates to drunk driving.

  • Recent data shows that nearly 30% of traffic deaths in December were a result of crashes involving a driver with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of 0.08% or higher.
  • New Year's Eve presents an even more acute danger than other holiday activities, because it's party time for so many people at a single point in time, often with alcohol involved. This concentrated hub of activity means that drunk driving can impact many more lives than just that of the drunk driver.
  • On average, five Oklahomans die each year in crashes during the New Year period, defined as the 30-hour period from 6 p.m. Dec. 31 to 11:59 p.m. Jan.1. In 2015 specifically, six died in crashes, of which 3 were drunk driving crashes.

With these factors in mind, the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO) chose to run a media campaign to highlight the dangers presented by drunk driving over the New Year's Eve holiday.



Because individual years can have higher or lower crash rates, OHSO uses multiyear averages to calculate historic crash rates and benchmark goals. From 2013-2015, the three most recent years with data available, Oklahoma experienced an average of 3.67 fatalities each year.

2017 Objective: Experience no more than 3 alcohol-related fatalities in the 30-hour New Year's Eve period from 6 p.m. Dec. 31 to 11:59 p.m. Jan. 1.



VI referred to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), "Countermeasures That Work" guide to for mass media best practices.

  • Influence motivating factors that might lead male drivers to make dangerous impaired driving choices.
  • Provide alternative transportation choices to the target audiences.
  • Educate the audience on the consequences of drinking and driving.


Digital Video: Used targeting capabilities by demographic, geography, and lifestyle on premium websites and YouTube.

Social Media: Used targeting capabilities with the addition of targeting by social habits, likes, and online activities.

Outdoor Advertising: This mass medium put the message exactly where the target would potentially make a lethal choice.

Ride Share Application: This campaign piloted an Uber code program that offered $10 off a ride during the New Year's holiday period.



For the "Oblivious Regulars" persona, messaging focused on the dangers that drunk driving presents through video. The messaging shows a law enforcement officer knocking on the door of a home to deliver a death notification, a sobering reminder of the potential consequences of drinking and driving.
For the "Occasional Overindulger" persona audience, messaging focused on how to protect yourself from drunk drivers on the road, as well as timely reminders to avoid making a poor "snap choice" after you've already been driving.

As the finale to the preventative messaging, at-risk populations were provided an incentive to help take the safer choice of using a ride sharing service over driving a vehicle themselves. An Uber code program offered a $10 discounted ride during the New Year's holiday period. This messaging offered a direct action that the audience could take to protect themselves and the others on the road.



During the 30-hour New Year's Eve period, not one person died due to an alcohol-related car crash in Oklahoma. This figure had not been achieved in over a decade in the state of Oklahoma.