As the Christmas season returns in full swing for the first time in two years, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland together with Coca-Cola Ireland are excited to announce the return of its Designated Driver campaign for Christmas 2022.
Designated Driver is Coca-Cola’s annual initiative that rewards those unsung heroes of Christmas who ensure their friends and family members get home safely with the simple gift of a lift. Drivers can grab two soft drinks from the Coca-Cola range free of charge at over 550 participating venues across Ireland and Northern Ireland. Simply make yourself known to bar staff to avail of your free drinks!
Christmas is an expensive time of year and paying for parking when on a night out can be an added strain on your purse strings. Coca-Cola knows this can be an additional barrier for Designated Drivers and for that reason, they will also reward Designated Drivers by providing free parking spaces at Q-Park car parks in Victoria Square Belfast, St Stephen’s Green Dublin, Grand Parade Cork, Eyre Square Galway every weekend during the month of December. Starting on December 1st, drivers simply need to prebook their spot in participating Q-Parks via www.q-park.co.uk for NI andwww.q-park.ie for ROI and enter the promo code CocaCola at checkout to get parking for free!*
Not only that, but Designated Drivers will also be able to avail of a special Christmas car valet from the Coca-Cola elves while they are parked before 6pm. Simply let the valet team know at any of the four locations that you’re a Coca-Cola Designated Driver and return to a sparkling car with added Coca-Cola Christmas treats.*
This year, broadcaster and influencer, Melissa Riddell is once again stepping up on behalf of Designated Drivers everywhere to raise awareness of the crucial role they play in helping others celebrate Christmas and encourage them to gain the recognition they deserve with Coca-Cola. Melissa will be joined by fellow broadcaster Carl Mullan in the Republic of Ireland.
Speaking at the launch of Designated Driver in Belfast,T/Chief Inspector Ryan McConville said: “The Police service is pleased to support the launch of this year’s Designated Driver campaign. To date this year, 47 people have tragically lost their lives on roads across Northern Ireland, seven more than this time last year. Unfortunately, we have also seen an increase in the number of collisions on our roads, we recorded 3,166 between January - August 2022, an increase of over 10% compared to 2021. We all want to celebrate this Christmas season with our loved ones, but I urge everyone to ensure they plan ahead to get home safely this Christmas. The Designated Driver campaign rewards safe drivers and I encourage those going out this Christmas to get involved. Our road safety message is very simple. Do not speed; Pay greater attention to your surroundings; leave the mobile phone alone; look out for other road users, always wear a seatbelt and NEVER, EVER drive after drinking or taking drugs.”
Joel Neill, Director of Operations, Hospitality Ulster said; “This is the first proper Christmas that we have had since the pandemic, with our members gearing up to welcome back customers for what we hope is a fantastic Christmas season. The cost-of-living crisis is having a major knock-on effect to businesses in the hospitality sector, therefore to have the opportunity to offer an incentive to customers who are happy to be the chosen driver for friends and family over the festive period will hopefully give a further boost to the sector, as it helps encourage more people to get out and visit hospitality venues. It is fantastic to once again be part of this important campaign by Coca-Cola and we look forward to welcoming back designated drivers and their passengers to pubs and restaurants across Northern Ireland this Christmas.”
Speaking on behalf of Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland, Gareth Devlin, National Account Manager said: “As Christmas celebrations return in full swing, I am thrilled to be launching our Designated Driver campaign. The past two years have been incredibly difficult for our customers in the hospitality industry, so we are delighted to continue our Designated Driver campaign and support the sector at this busy time. The initiative has a long and proud history of supporting consumers and empowering them to enjoy the festive season in a safe manner. This year we are also going a step further, offering consumers free parking and the chance to have their car valeted for free. We want to make getting out this Christmas into our incredible hospitality sector as care-free as possible and ensure everyone keeps safety top-of-mind on festive nights out.”
Broadcaster and Coca-Cola Ambassador Melissa Riddell said, “I am so excited to be working with Coca-Cola once again this year for the Designated Driver campaign. Christmas is all about celebrating with friends and this campaign takes the stress out of those celebrations by rewarding the Designated Drivers, not just with free soft drinks and parking, but with a snazzy valet which I can’t wait to avail of!”
Designated Driver is supported by the PSNI, Northern Ireland's Department of Infrastructure and NI Hotels Federation in Northern Ireland and the Department of Transport, the Road Safety Authority, Drinkaware, Licenced Vintners Federation, Vintners Federation of Ireland, Irish Hotels Federation and Restaurants Association of Ireland.
Designated drivers can avail of the two free soft drinks from the Coca-Cola range by simply making themselves known to bar staff at participating venues. Drinks from the range include Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Fanta, Sprite, Deep RiverRock and Fruice.