TAC and Clemenger BBDO explain why you can't fight sleep

By Sarah Homewood | 10 April 2014
TAC 'You Can't Fight Sleep' by Clemenger BBDO Melbourne.

You can't fight sleep. That's the message TAC and Clemenger BBDO have gone with in the newly appointed agency's first campaign for the iconic brand.

Turning to science, the confronting TV advertisement features a woman peacefully laying her head down on a pillow in slow motion as she falls asleep. As her head hits the pillow, it becomes apparent the pillow is actually an airbag inflating in a crash.

Lee Simpson managing partner at Clemenger BBDO Melbourne said the aim of the campaign is to reset the agenda around driving when you're tried.

“With the campaign we wanted to challenge that sense of control, people think they can push through that drowsy or tired phase, they'll say things like I’ve had a cup of coffee or they'll turn the radio up,” he said. “Falling asleep at the wheel, we wanted to show through the narrative, physiologically will eventually take over.”

Simpson explained that by taking some creative license with not knowing at first where the ad is going will give the campaign the cut through it needs in an ad break.

“Again you're sitting on the sofa, you're familiar with that feeling of your head hitting the pillow just before you go to sleep and then the context quite quickly changes, it really hits home.”

TAC chief executive Janet Dore said the campaign represented a shift in focus from earlier fatigue campaigns. "The campaign’s message is that from the moment you wake, sleep-inducing chemicals build up all day, causing drowsiness.This drowsiness signals the onset of sleep, which can happen in an instant and without further warning,” she said.

“On average, a healthy adult needs seven to nine hours of quality sleep to function optimally. After 24 hours of no sleep, the risk is the same as driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.1. We tend to think that sleep is a choice we have control over, but it is actually a chemical and physiological process. The only way it can be overcome is by sleeping."

Victorians can get involved in the campaign with the #yawnchallenge on social media. Upload a photo of yourself yawning with the #yawnchallenge, reminding your followers that you can’t fight sleep. The compeition gives entrants the opportunity to win one of five $500 "luxury sleep packs".

This is the first campaign released by TAC since parting ways with Grey, putting an end to the 24-year partnership in favour of Clemenger BBDO in November last year.

Simpson explains that this new partnership between Clemenger BBDO and TAC is about continuing the rich work that TAC has always been known for.

“We've always had a sense of responsibly and laser focus on effectiveness for all of our clients but for TAC the outcome is saving lives, preventing serious injury and raising the public awareness so for us it's an opportunity to do that as an agency.”

The new campaign will appear on television, radio, print, outdoor and online.

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