Mumbai: Christmas day seemed like a good day to celebrate. And it looked like that someone managing cab aggregator Ola’s Twitter account had far too much to drink as fuzzy, drunk messages were being sent out from its Twitter handle to all and sundry. Some even contemplated that the account had been hacked.
But putting an end to the confusion, and the hilarious tweets, a few hours later the company put out a clarification, driving home the fact that if drunk messaging could be dangerous, imagine what drink driving could do. The digital campaign, titled ‘#PeekeMatChala’, was launched to discourage drink-driving during the holiday season.
This was followed by a video by All India Bakchod (AIB), the comedy collective, in association with Ola on how best to welcome 2017. The video features a group of friends at a New Year’s eve party when one of them announces he’s leaving. Since he had been drinking, the other friends convince him to book an Ola. “This holiday season, we at Ola encourage party-goers to take an Ola instead of driving. Ola’s #Peekematchala campaign has been specially created to encourage people of India to enjoy this holiday season responsibly. We are delighted to be associated with AIB in using a novel way to deliver this message,” said Raghuvesh Sarup, head of categories and chief marketing officer at Ola.
As a part of the campaign, Ola will also have Indian celebrities and customers tweeting their drunken confessions in support of the campaign in a bid to reach out to large number of consumers and create greater impact through them, said a statement from the company.
This is not the first time the company has taken measures against drinking and driving. According to the statement from the company, recently in Delhi, Ola partnered with Hauz Khas Village Association to encourage patrons and visitors of leading pubs and bars in Hauz Khas Village to take a safe and specially discounted Ola cab ride after night out with friends. Additionally, on last New Year’s Eve, Ola deployed more than 500 shuttles to ferry over 10,000 people to their homes from popular hotspots around Delhi-NCR.
In Bengaluru, too, Ola recently launched a campaign at Church Street Social where it installed the first of a thousand breathalyzers outside the pub to encourage citizens to check their alcohol levels before making the decision to drive.
“It’s a very relevant message. There are far too many casualties around this time of the year. As parents and as older adults, we quite don’t have the purchase with the younger lot when it comes to retailing wisdom. This works. It’s in the language they understand. And while Ola has a business interest in pushing this out, even one life saved is worth it. It doesn’t actually matter who the brand is, and why they are doing this, as long as the spin off benefits help in encouraging youngsters not to drive while drunk,” said Prathap Suthan, managing partner and chief creative officer at the agency Bang in the Middle.