RADD® was born in radio. Back in 1985 in Northern CA at a promotion meeting. News of terrible car crash that killed teens during prom season came over the wire. One of them commented that celebrities came through every day to tape station liners, why not ask them to add: “and don’t drink and drive.” DJs started collecting the tapes and sharing them. In 1986, RADD® incorporated. Thanks to over 100 top acts, the National Association of Broadcasters and the Ad Council, RADD®’s signature Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk campaign tracked $80 million in donated radio/TV air time and we suspect at least half as much more that was logged by stations but not reported.
Have fun. Be safe. RADD® promotes lifestyle solutions to avoid driving drunk and drugged… have a DD, crash on a couch, use rideshare or other public transportation and for cyclists and motorcycle riders — we say, “you ARE the DD, so leave it at home if you’re going out to party.”
Music is the common thread through all of RADD®’s outreach. Working with station groups like KPWR, iHeart and Entercom, we host interactive booths at large music festivals such as Rolling Loud and Weenie Roast and partner with community events like the Malibu Guitar Festival and LA Wine Fest. Through social media, we engage with emerging acts to tape performances and deliver upbeat messages to their fans who push it out through their networks. And we also work closely with the California Broadcasters Associations, where we generated well over a $1 million in radio airplay alone in CA last year.
It is a terrific 3-prong effort to reach college students and other young adults through music marketing as I’ve just described, as well as on-campus activities in partnership with 53 college campuses from SD to SF and 3 USMC bases in SoCal. Collectively our campuses have a total enrollment of over 1,300,000 students. Additionally, approximately 500 bars and restaurants surrounding our campus clusters serve as RADD® Rewards partners, donating free sodas and other incentives to designated drivers on behalf of RADD®. There’s no charge for campuses or bars to participate, because RADD® has a generous grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
During high risk windows for drunk and drugged driving crashes, typically around national holidays like July 4th, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, as well as “bar holidays” like St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo. RADD® uses social media and in-bar signage to advise young adults to prepare for the coming holidays. The #1 message is Plan Ahead! When everybody arrives at the party in their own cars — that’s a problem. Avoid it by carpooling with a DD, Lyft or Uber. Bring sleeping bags to a house party. And remember, summer holidays like July 4th are the deadliest because the days are longer — an early start for a parade or brunch, rolls into an afternoon barbecue, then out to party when the sun goes down. Pace yourself and pre-plan your travel to bring everyone home safely.