People know what to expect when they look in a mirror. Aside from thinking they’re having a bad hair day, or noticing a stain on their shirt, there are no surprises.
That’s why those using the bathroom at this bar were so caught off guard. When you look in the mirror, you expect to see a reflection of yourself, not someone wearing a prison jumper.
Tipsy male bar patrons looking to relieve themselves were confronted with some unexpected bathroom chit-chat. Unsure of what to make of the man in the mirror at first, many appeared to think they were being set up for a joke.
They quickly realized there was nothing funny about the message they were about to hear.
In 2010, Kris Caudilla received 15 years in prison for DUI manslaughter after killing a police officer while driving drunk.
The organization “We Save Lives” came up with an inventive way to help combat drunk driving in their PSA advertisement.
In a video titled “Reflections from Inside,” Caudilla streams from the RMC Correctional Facility in Lake Butler, Florida. Clad in blue prison attire, he initially startles the guests visiting the restroom in a Los Angeles bar.
Caudilla, who was 26 at the time, pleaded guilty and received the maximum penalty for the crime, according to a report published on Jacksonville.com. He is six years into a 15-year sentence.
He was 32 years old when he was approached with an opportunity to help prevent others from making the same mistake he made.
The commercial spot was filmed at a private party at an undisclosed bar in L.A., and the participants were aware they were being filmed, but didn’t know why.
“What’s up, man?” Caudilla said to one man as he was looking in the mirror.
After exchanging a few pleasantries, party-goers hear the cautionary tale that landed Caudilla in jail.
“I made the choice to drink. I made the choice to get in the car,” Caudilla said. “You don’t have to make that choice.”
In response to hearing that he is serving 15 years in prison for DUI manslaughter, most stand in stunned silence, while others offer apologies.
“Look in the mirror, man. Should you be driving tonight?” Caudilla asks them.
The PSA involved some technical trickery, and the directors hope it will help lower drunk driving related deaths.
Making it all come together took a bit of trickery, though. Prison guards wouldn’t allow Caudilla to live stream his interactions into the bathroom, so they all had to be prerecorded.
Once someone stood in front of the mirror, technicians cued the prerecorded responses that were appropriate to the situation. It went off without a hitch.
The advertisement was produced by Y&R Miami Bravo advertising agency for We Save Lives. It was made with social media in mind, with the belief that a talking mirror might draw a strong response from a large audience.
They were right, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.