Rugby Star Craig Gilroy Lines Out For Coca Colas 2017 Designated Driver Campaign

Rugby Star Craig Gilroy Lines Out For Coca Colas 2017 Designated Driver Campaign

27 November 2017

The award-winning road-safety campaign rewards safety-conscious Designated Drivers with a ‘Coketail’ or two free drinks from the Coca-Cola range

28th November 2017: Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland today launched its 11th annual Designated Driver campaign in Northern Ireland with the support of Ulster and Ireland rugby star Craig Gilroy who is fronting this year’s campaign.

The aim of the 2017 Designated Driver campaign is to encourage people across the region to give the ‘Gift of a Lift’ to friends and loved-ones this Christmas, by staying sober on nights out to ensure they get home safely.

As we all struggle to find the perfect gift for our loved ones at Christmas, Coca-Cola believes that one of the most valued presents you can give to family and friends is a ‘gift of lift’ so they can enjoy all the fun of Christmas and get home hassle-free. To support these selfless designated drivers this season, Coca-Cola will once again offer two free drinks from the Coca-Cola range or an alcohol free ‘Coketail’ that can be redeemed in participating bars and restaurants across Northern Ireland.

This year Coca-Cola is also making it even easier for designated drivers to claim their free drinks – with digital vouchers that can be stored in the mobile wallet app on smart phones. The vouchers are available when you free text 80800 in Northern Ireland throughout the holiday season. You can also scan a QR code displayed in participating bars and restaurants around the country, making it as easy as possible to redeem your vouchers on your night out!

Craig Gilroy, campaign ambassador, said, “We all know that drink driving is wrong, yet unbelievably some people at Christmas can still be tempted to take that risk.

“I think being a designated driver is one of the best gifts you can give over the holiday season to help keep loved ones’ safe, and it doesn’t cost a thing. I, for one, hugely value the gift of a lift, especially at Christmas time when it can be so difficult to get home from a night out.

“I am proud to be a part of this year’s Coca-Cola campaign and encourage everyone to give the gift of a lift and claim your two free soft drinks from Coca-Cola – for more information visit”

Speaking at the launch Permanent Secretary of the Department for Infrastructure, Peter May also said; “Drink/drug driving has caused over 2000 deaths and serious injuries since 2000.  That’s 2000 devastated families.  Last year alone, there were 17 deaths and 64 seriously injured casualties due to drink/drug related driving.  All of these families’ lives changed forever the moment those responsible took a drink and decided to drive.

“We have a duty to our own families and friends to ensure we are there to celebrate Christmas with them.  We also have to ensure others are with their loved ones at this time of year.  All drivers who buy and consume an alcoholic drink should realise it could be the most expensive one they have ever had – ultimately costing them or other road users their lives.

“The Department would encourage those on a night out to plan ahead to ensure you and your friends get home safely: book a taxi or have a designated driver who will not drink alcohol.  Even just one drink will impair your driving ability.”

To enhance the experience of a night out for designated drivers Coca-Cola have also created a range of ‘Coketails’ offering more exciting drinks for designated drivers to enjoy when they are giving the ‘Gift of a Lift’ this Christmas. Three enticing mocktail recipes have been created by expert mixologist Ilario Alberto Capraro, featuring the new Coca-Cola Zero Sugar 200ml; the recently re-launched Schweppes range, along with innovations such as Appletiser. These popular drinks will benefit from a unique Christmas twist with ingredients such as clove syrup, star-anise, ginger, cinnamon and more.

Gareth Devlin, National Account Manager, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland said: “Our business has taken immense pride in supporting designated drivers throughout the Christmas season for more than a decade and we are delighted to bring an innovative approach to this years’ campaign, with the creation of our bespoke ‘Coketails’ to further celebrate and reward drivers throughout the season. Also new to this year’s campaign is the introduction of a digital voucher which will make it even easier for people to claim and redeem vouchers using their smart phone – hopefully encouraging more people to keep safety top-of-mind on festive nights out.”

In Northern Ireland, the campaign is supported by the Department of Infrastructure, Police Service of Northern Ireland, Hospitality Ulster and the Northern Irish Hotel Federation.

For more information visit