Exclusive: The Band Perry to Play High School Concerts to Promote Safe Teen Driving
Winners of State Farm's Celebrate My Drive campaign will be treated to Band Perry shows.
The Band Perry will be touring all fall in support of 2013's Pioneer, both on their own headlining dates and as part of Blake Shelton's Ten Times Crazier Tour. But the country trio will soon be making a special stop at two high schools: the to-be-determined winners of a safe teen driving program with State Farm called Celebrate My Drive.
Since debuting in 2012 with celebrity spokespeople Scotty McCreery and Amber Riley, Celebrate My Drive's mission has been to receive pledges from teens and community members to utilize safe driving practices. The 2013 program received over 6.3 million pledges alone, with spokesperson Kelly Clarkson. In fact, The Band Perry first got involved with Celebrate My Drive in April, when Clarkson was unable to perform at the 2013 program's winning high school due to her recent pregnancy.
"My brothers and I just fell in love with the interaction with the students and teaching them about the freedom of driving experiences for the first time," says Band Perry frontwoman Kimberly Perry, "But also putting a light on the responsibility that goes along with that. With The Band Perry, everything begins and ends with our fans. So whether we're in Medina, Ohio, or at Madison Square Garden, we know there are teenagers in the audience who are going to leave the show and get in their car to go home -- we just ask they do that safely."
The Band Perry will help drive awareness to the 2014 campaign, which will invite U.S. and Canadian high school administrators to register their school from Aug. 1 through Oct. 7 at CelebrateMyDrive.com. Teens and community members from each school will then commit to safe driving once a day every day from Oct. 15 to 24 in order to complete eligibility for the private concert. Two grand-prize winners will receive a concert from The Band Perry, while the additional 100 high schools with the most online safe-driving commitments will receive grants of $25,000 or $100,000 from State Farm. The campaign is booked and activated by The Marketing Arm, a sports and entertainment marketing firm under the Omnicom Group.
Safe-driving initiatives have become a priority for a variety of brands' corporate responsibility programs -- most notably AT&T's It Can Wait campaign, which has received over 5 million pledges to date. Although teen-driven cars crashing are still the number-one killer of teens in the United States, David Beigie, State Farm's VP of public affairs, wanted the insurance company's approach to be "less about scare tactics" and more about driving as a rite of passage in a person's life. "I call it the bar mitzvah of mobility," he says. "It's that opportunity for you to come of age, learn about responsibility and think about all the places you're gonna go with this newfound freedom, but also with two eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel. We just want to underscore that that's a good thing."
With brothers Reid and Neil Perry currently in their mid-20s, they can recall reaching driving age around the time texting and driving was first becoming an issue. "It wasn't as prominent back then as it was now," Reid says, "but our parents always made sure we were paying attention on the road. There's so many distractions, especially in those first years of driving, that you need to pay attention as you're still learning the ropes."
Neil has also been spending extra time in his Jeep Wrangler as of late, road-testing new material for The Band Perry's in-the-works third album, which Kimberly describes as "a totally different personality" from 2013's rock-and-blues tinged Pioneer. "I just put some new speakers in my car, so it's definitely where I like to try out our new songs and recordings," he says.
Adds Kimberly, "If Neil goes missing from the house, it's because he's out driving around listening to music."