A team of three college students from central Iowa won a national contest to create a public service announcement campaign for a beer company. Ashley Sinclair, a senior at Drake University in Des Moines, says they took on the challenge of dreaming up an effective P-S-A for Heineken to promote responsible drinking.

Sinclair, a 22-year-old from Wichita, Kansas, says they were considering revamping the “don’t drink and drive” message but decided too many people were already turned off by it. Instead, they took the attitude of “go ahead and drink, but take a taxi” as it was more positive and something people would actually do.

Sinclair says they started off by running with the idea of Heineken hiring supermodels to drive taxis as a way to lure people into taking cabs. That led to other ideas like “making out in the back seat,” “finding loose change between the seat cushions,” or “hanging your head out the window like a dog” and discovered each idea could highlight a different humorous reason to take a cab after a night of drinking.

Sinclair says it makes sense that the brewery turned to college students to find a way to reach college students. She says, laughing, it was a “pretty smart idea on the part of Heineken to have a bunch of young, fresh-minded students come up with campaigns for you for free, and obviously now, they’re sending us to New York and they gave us some money so we’re pretty happy.” The contest is in recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month.

The other Drake students on the winning team are Matt Kappmeyer, of Homewood, Illinois, and Kristin Headrick, of Plymouth, Nebraska. They split a three-thousand dollar prize and will get an all-expenses-paid trip to New York to pitch their complete campaign for print, radio and the Internet to the Heineken execs.