When it comes to texting and driving, AT&T’s “It can Wait” campaign pings the nail on the head.
November 22, 2013
More than any one commercial or piece of marketing communications (of which there are many), what I really dig about AT&T’s campaign to eliminate texting while driving (and during movies) is the single-minded beauty and simplicity of it’s theme and tag line: “It Can Wait.”
Beyond the obvious ‘safety first’ messaging is the great insight that most texts are of a highly superficial nature. We all know as much. Yet, we do it anyway.
“It Can Wait,” reminds each one of us that “Where U at?” or “Sup?” is hardly important enough to distract moviegoers let alone put lives in jeopardy.
“It Can Wait” strikes exactly the right tone between admonishment and reminder. The line is like something an angry parent would say to a teen-aged kid. Yet, somehow it doesn’t come off as bitchy. Perhaps because we see ourselves as both parent and child.
Moreover, most of us know we are culpable. Inappropriate texting erupted onto the scene like a field of dandelions. It’s a real problem. Getting people to change this behavior has proven difficult to say the least. The insight that our instant messages are seldom that important and more about instant gratification than legitimate communication is, in my view, brilliant. It correctly puts us in our place, supplanting our egos with a self-consciousness that is sorely lacking.
Finally, I am not bothered in the least that this campaign comes from AT&T (if indeed it does). Whereas I always bristle when beer advertisers remind us not to drink and drive somehow this message doesn’t seem tacked on or disingenuous. It’s painfully obvious the law made beer companies talk about designated drivers. Waiting until one gets to his or her destination (or at least pulling over) in order to engage with our smartphones makes good sense. It can wait. And we all know it.