CÎROC® vodka teamed up with Esquire and Sean “Diddy” Combs to spread a vital message throughout the 2012 holiday and New Year season, Responsible Celebration. With the Ultra Premium Cut commercial challenge, CÎROC gave one winning filmmaker a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a CÎROC Safe Rides commercial, which aired on national television on Dec. 31, 2012.  “Twilight” actress Nikki Reed joined Combs and Esquire Publisher Jack Essig on the celebrity judging panel, selecting a winner from a pool of creative entries.

The 30-second commercial promotes CÎROC’s annual Safe Rides campaign. This year representatives of the vodka brand and Esquire distributed cards valid for free, safe transportation in major cities like Atlanta, New York, Miami, Chicago and Houston on New Year's Eve.

In the winning entry (above), a just-married couple makes their way to the riverside to celebrate with a bottle of CÎROC vodka, the bride playfully tossing the car keys into the water. The commercial appeared on the Bravo network on Dec. 31, giving filmmaker John Ryan Johnson national exposure.

Filmmaker John Ryan Johnson reveals that creating the winning commercial was a whirlwind experience, executed from concept to completion in just five days. 

"I'm an independent writer/director in New York.  My sister works in advertising and sent me a link for the contest, which seemed like a great opportunity to get a commercial on national TV.  The day she sent me the info was a Tuesday, with the deadline coming that Saturday.  So, I wrote the script on Tuesday, scrambled to produce the spot for the next two days, we shot Friday night, and I edited the commercial Saturday night, finishing just before the deadline.

I'd never finished a project that quickly before, from inception to final cut, so it was nice to see we could pull it off!  Everyone really put in work on set and having the spot air on national television was the best reward for everyone involved."

For contest judge Reed, the issue of responsible drinking hits home. In an interview with Associated Press, the actress revealed that she has experienced an alcohol-related tragedy in her own life. In addition to judging, Reed filmed dedicated public service announcements to raise awareness and also surprised pedestrians with CÎROC Safe Rides cards.

“During the holiday season while we celebrate family, traditions, and the beginning of a new year, it's extra important to do these things responsibly,” says Reed. “If you are going to drink, please find a safe ride home. Catch a cab, CIROC Safe Ride, subway, bus or pick a designated driver.”

Learn more about CÎROC’s commitment to alcohol responsibility at CIROC.com.