Press Releases

Press Release #16-028
March 17, 2016
Chris Browne/Jaclyn Jablkowski (212)839-4850

As March Madness Begins, NYC DOT to Release “Choices” Ad Campaign to Discourage Drunk Driving

New York City ad campaign, the first on new LinkNYC kiosks, will encourage those drinking to grab a cab or the subway home

Commissioner Polly Trottenberg today announced that the City Department of Transportation (DOT) would be expanding its “Choices” ad campaign designed to discourage driving while intoxicated (DWI).  The campaign coincides with the beginning of the NCAA college basketball tournament, when New York City bars see some of their largest sustained crowds of the entire year.

“After watching and -- over drinks -- enjoying their favorite team play, New Yorkers must remember that it’s never OK to get behind the wheel,” said Commissioner Trottenberg. “As part of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero goals and our strong commitment to stopping DWI, this ad campaign sends a strong message that if you put yourself or your fellow New Yorkers in danger, you will face very serious consequences.”

“It’s my fervent hope that this campaign will remind New Yorkers and visitors to our city that drunk driving is always a wrong choice, and our choices always matter,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “There is never a good reason to drink and drive, and – especially here in our city, with subways, buses, cabs and car services available day and night – there is always an alternative.”

“New York City does not tolerate drunk driving, period,” said NYC Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez. “I hope this campaign will make New Yorkers think twice when coming home after a night out. There are many alternatives to driving and I encourage revelers to choose one of them when feeling even slightly buzzed. I am glad to see NYC DOT keeping this message in the forefront of people’s minds through a compelling ad campaign.”

“I applaud Mayor de Blasio and the Department of Transportation for creating a campaign to discourage drunk driving. Using the new LinkNYC kiosks to display a public service announcement is an innovative way of integrating new technology and disseminating information to the general public,” said Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick. “As the City continues to becomes more congested, it is imperative that we do all we can to ensure that our streets are safe for pedestrians and drivers.”

The ads will be the first of their kind on the City’s new LinkNYC kiosks. Last month, Mayor de Blasio announced that LinkNYC, would transform the City’s old payphones into Wi-Fi kiosks, known as “Links,” to create the world’s largest and fastest free public Wi-Fi network. The campaign will run on 25 kiosks along 3rd Avenue in Manhattan.  CityBridge, a consortium of experts in technology, media, user-experience and connectivity will manage the multi-year project expected to bring over 7,500 Links to New York City.

“This campaign is a powerful example of NYC’s Department of Transportation tapping into LinkNYC as a public-service-first platform,” said Scott Goldsmith, President, Intersection Media, part of the City Bridge consortium.  “In addition to sending a valuable message to New Yorkers during the March Madness season, the campaign also utilizes many of the unique benefits of Link, primarily its ability to be context and location-aware. The DOT selected Links around the most popular nightlife spots, spanning from downtown to midtown NYC, to spread the word and remind people about the dangers behind drunk driving.”

The different ads, appearing now through April 4th, use New York City imagery and compel viewers to choose between a safe way home and a serious consequence of driving under the influence. The ads provide facts about DWI crashes in New York City and promote the agency’s “Get BAC NYC” app, which calculates Blood Alcohol Content and locates nearby car service and transit options. The digital campaign components are a part of a comprehensive media strategy that includes radio advertisements, displays at Barclays Center, and video content delivered through mobile devices and on Taxi TV.  The campaign is funded through a New York State Stop-DWI grant.

Featuring the tagline, “Celebrate responsibly. Your Choices Matter,” the campaign is an extension of New York City’s multi-year Vision Zero initiative to reduce injuries and fatalities on City streets.  In January, Mayor de Blasio announced that 2015 had been the safest year ever on New York City’s streets, and unveiled several new Vision Zero initiatives for 2016: an expansion of the bike network; an additional $115 million investment in street redesign and traffic-calming measures on key thoroughfares citywide; a pilot project to reduce left-turn collisions; targeted NYPD enforcement to protect seniors; increased use of speed-enforcement cameras; and more intensive safety education in collaboration with the Department of Education in elementary and middle schools.

New York City Vision Zero ad campaign featuring a man on the street holding a bottle of beer     New York City Vision Zero ad campaign featuring a woman on the street holding a bottle of beer    

Kiosk showing New York City Vision Zero ad campaign
NYCLink kiosk, 3rd Avenue & East 25th Street