The Deconstructed Brief

This Coaster Used to be a Car

This Coaster Used to be a Car

Brand: Arrive Alive

Agency: Rethink


  • Grab the attention of bar patrons on St. Patrick’s Day to remind them about the consequences of drinking and driving


More than 250 people died in St. Patrick’s Day car crashes between 2011 and 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The coasters are made of metal from real car wrecks and laser-etched with the message: “This coaster used to be a car. That car never made it home.” This directly links the actions of drinking and driving to the worst possible outcome. 


One Thought:

If you drink and drive, you might not make it home.

Lessons to be learned:

  • Create an experience. These coasters create a small experience by providing something bar patrons can touch and examine. How often are drinks served on metal coasters? 
  • Go back to the well. Creative bar coasters are old news, but that doesn’t mean you should kill a strong idea just because that type of thing has been done before. Here, the rugged chunks of metal play off the idea of creative coasters that you see in a lot of bars. Coasters can be fun and silly, but we’re dead serious. Surprise and sober up.
  • Be direct. There are a lot of things competing for your attention at a bar, so the coasters get right to the point with the simple copy.

What they told Ad Age:

We wanted to remind people, on the biggest drinking night of the year, that there are consequences to driving drunk — and remind them to use a designated driver, take transit or download The Ride App for a safe ride home,” said Michael Stewart, program director at Arrive Alive.