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The Creative Promotions Agency was proud to be chosen by Allstate to assist them in finding the right talent for their holiday teen safe-driving campaign. They chose Grammy Award winning artist Taylor Swift to be the spokeswoman for the campaign, and make an appearance at the main event, which took place at Mall of America. Teens were able to submit songs that they wrote promoting safe driving, and Taylor helped choose the winners and honor them at the event. The following is the event's general press release:
BLOOMINGTON Dec. 8/PRNewswire/ -- Car crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens, taking nearly 6,000 lives a year, and the holiday season is a deadly time for teen drivers. But that hasn't stopped a group of teens from spreading good cheer and some smart driving messages. Through one of the first contests of its kind, coined, "Holiday Holla," Danny Luebke and Carl Turner, both 18 from New Prague, Minn., won $15,000, courtesy of The Allstate Foundation, and were recognized for their creativity in being smart driving advocates. "It's still so unreal," said Turner. "We're really excited about this — performing was crazy, there were thousands of people there. Danny and I are so happy to have learned about the Keep the Drive and The Allstate Foundation; we hope all the other teens our there will check our song out on HolidayHolla.com and drive smarter as a result."
With the goal of saving lives during the holiday season, Keep the drive — a national teen-led smart driving movement funded by The Allstate Foundation —challenged teens from across the country to rewrite and perform (or "holla") holiday carols with new, catchy lyrics about smart driving. From the many entries, teens voted on their favorites and the top five most popular performers belted it out at the final event, where a panel of teen judged selected the grand prize winner. Luebke, Turner, and the four other teams of finalists from across the country performed at Mall of America on Dec. 8. The duo won the adoration of the crowds and judges with their song, "Make a Difference," and upbeat acoustic version of the holiday carol, "Good King Wenceslaus." Their smart driving lyrics and catchy melody even impressed Grammy nominee, double platinum-selling recording artist and Holiday Holla judge Taylor Swift. "Car crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens," said Swift. "That's a scary fact, but something we as young drivers have the power to change. It's great for me to have this forum to reach out to my fellow teen drivers to promote smart driving in a fun way, especially during the holidays. Hopefully teens will start to think twice before doing something dangerous like text messaging while driving."
The Holiday Holla event culminated with Swift presenting Luebke and Turner with the $15,000 grand prize, followed by the lighting of the Holiday Holla tree — an 11-foot tree strung with 6,000 lights to symbolize the 6,000 teen lives Keep the Drive — through its teen advocates around the country and otherwise — strives to save in 2008. After the lighting ceremony, Swift performed five of her hit songs, including the holiday favorite, "Santa Baby." Nick Bates, 15, Fred Kreider, 15, and Lucas wiggins, 14, all of Minneapolis, Minn., sang "Christmas Eve," a punk rock version of "We Three Kings." They took home second place and the $3,000 runner-up prize. Lauren Lindstrom, 17, of Santa Cruz, Calif., won $1,500 for third place. According to a national survey of teens conducted by The Allstate Foundation, more than half (53 percent) of teens say their friends are the most effective influence in getting them to drive more safely. The Holiday Holla contest leveraged the power of the peer-to-peer approach to spread smart driving messages in an unconventional way among teens.