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Girl’s voice, childlike animation drive state’s new anti-DWI campaign

New Mexico Department of Transportation’s new anti-DWI campaign is called, ENDWI: Children’s Drawings. (Courtesy of RK VENTURE)

Driving while intoxicated.

New Mexico has worked to curb it.

The latest anti-DWI campaign from the New Mexico Department of Transportation is called “ENDWI: Children’s Drawings.”

At the helm of the spots is RK Venture.

In one spot, a child’s voice speaks of the devastation caused by a drunken driving crash.

Using 3D renderings of childlike drawings, the animated spot is a potent reminder of the heavy toll drunken driving takes on all New Mexicans.

It is created as part of the state’s Spring Super Blitz driver safety campaign and is broadcasting statewide on television and radio and is supported online at and through a robust social media presence.

Nick Tauro Jr., RK Venture creative director, says that the agency has done the marketing for NMDOT for 15 years and that the primary focus has been drunken driving prevention.

The message also extends to distracted driving, speeding and seat belt use.

“We this project, we wanted to cover seat belt usage and the dangers associated with it,” Tauro says. “We kicked around the idea of having the challenges and discussed coming at it from a child’s perspective.”

Due to COVID heatlh orders, RK Ventures wanted to move away from a live-action shoot and crew for the spot.

“These are all COVID realities now, and we were already in a planning mode for this concept,” he says. “From start to finish, we got the OK from the client, and it was about six weeks of production.”

The drunken driving spot has begun airing on TV, and there is a longer-format video that runs 45 seconds available online.

“It’s a little bit longer story and it shows the consequences,” he says. “The family loss is put out in a more direct way.”

Because no actors were used on set, RK Ventures began to look for voice talent in New Mexico.

They wanted a voice that could carry such a heavy message. They also needed a voice that could pull off both Spanish and English.

They found that in 9-year-old Clara Urbie Cooper, who auditioned on Zoom.

“It was kind of hard to find a silent place because my house is really noisy and there are five people in the house,” Clara says. “The only blank spot was the bathroom wall.”

Clara says to capture the emotion needed to tell this story, she had to think of her dog dying.

“It made me sad and brought out the pain,” Clara says.

RK Venture created the spot with all precautions required by the pandemic. Local child actors auditioned over Zoom. Recording took place after all involved were tested for COVID-19. The actors were masked except when speaking lines, and Tauro was in a separate room on Zoom to coach the actors.

Tauro says that in addition to the anti-drunken driving spot, seat belt safety and texting and driving awareness spots were also produced as part of the “Child’s Drawings” campaign.

Other child actors voiced those spots, and those will air later.

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