The drinking culture in Australia has been identified as a major problem. With 30 young Victorians injured every week, 25 admitted to hospital, 10 seriously injured in road crashes, and 1 dying every week. However, organisations and brands are beginning to battle this culture through targeted campaigns that either encourage drinking abstinence (Hello Sunday Morning), promote the responsible drinking of alcohol, or use scare tactics to educate and warn users of the dangers associated with alcohol consumption.
After coming across DrinkWise’s new responsible drinking campaign this morning, I began to look at what other organisations were doing in the area, both within Australia and overseas. Unsurprisingly, I found a number of campaigns from health organisations, state initiatives, and not-for-profits. What I didn’t expect to find were ads by alcohol brands promoting responsible drinking of alcohol. Moreover, I really liked the ad produced by Steinlager Beer. There is an opportunity for other alcohol brands (who are facing new advertising restrictions) to take point from Steinlager and create alcohol harm prevention ad campaigns.
Alcohol harm prevention campaigns in Australia:
DrinkWise How to Drink Properly campaign
Drinking – Do it properly
Produced by Clemenger BBDO, DrinkWise’s How to Drink Properly campaign was launched this morning. The campaign is voiced by a Don Draper/James Bond-esque animated protagonist, teaching Australian’s how to drink properly, and look sexy whilst doing it. The idea is not to abstain from alcohol, rather to drink it in moderation. This makes you feel “very, very, attractive” when in the “realm of drinking excellence” rather than the “very unattractive” drinker who is unable to operate heavy machinery and spends their evening stuck in a toilet. The follow-up online ads tackle saying no “eloquently”, and the origin of the term “Taxi”.
Editor: there’s been some subsequent controversy about this campaign’s approach, as discussed here in The Conversation.
VicHealth’s Name that Point campaign
Name that point
Name that Point is a competition put together by VicHealth in order to identify the point where an evening could go either way. Or, as DrinkWise describe it, the moment before you jump on the downward spiral and become very unattractive. There is $5000 up for grabs for the best naming of the point as well as other $50 prizes. The focus is once again, not on alcohol abstinence, but responsible consumption.
Queensland and New South Wales Government’s One Punch Can Kill campaigns
QLD: One Punch Can Kill
Created by the Queensland Government as a response to a number of senseless fatal assaults in Queensland in 2007. The campaign has recently been picked-up again this year by the New South Wales government:
NSW: One Punch Can Kill
The NSW Government aims to address alcohol related violence and more specifically the King Hit. Using boxer Danny Green, the ad seeks to remind the public of the consequences of senseless actions.
Australian Government’s Be the Influence campaign
Tackling Binge Drinking
The ad does not suggest how these Australian athletes will tackle the binge drinking culture of Australia other than supporting the cause. Moreover, the campaign website does not outline how the campaign aims to tackle the binge drinking culture.
HSM Global Introduction
Although not an ad campaign, HSM is an alcohol abstinence program that provides a supportive community and a platform for users to share their alcohol free story. The idea is to blog about all of the things that users have been able to do, now that they’ve cut alcohol out of their lives. HSM promotes the idea that people don’t need alcohol to be confident, to have fun, or to be themselves. It promotes the idea that alcohol is to be enjoyed, rather than a lifestyle necessity. Although HSM is an abstinence program, it doesn’t seek to stop drinking all together. Rather, it promotes a respect for oneself and the enjoyment of alcohol within reason.
Alcohol harm prevention campaigns from overseas:
United Kingdom’s THINK! Road safety campaign
Pub loo shocker
This ad utilizes scare tactics to encourage road safety. It asks viewers to consider the impact their drinking could have on himself or herself or someone else.
The Tomorrow Project’s Cheers! Campaign
Cheers! is a campaign that aims to promote the safe consumption of alcohol. It provides information on how to plan a night out/a party, as well as linking the public to alcohol-related health topics and how to talk with teenagers about drinking.
Steinlager Beer ad in New Zealand
Be the Artist, Not the Canvas”
Steinlager partnered with Cheers! to produce the above ad. Although it is an ad for a specific brand of beer, the message is clearly to drink responsibly. It works well as a campaign as it shows the fun culture associated with alcohol, as well as the consequences. Once again, pushing the DrinkWise and VicHealth idea of the “point” where things go from a great night, to not. I personally find the partnering of an alcohol brand with an alcohol harm prevention organisation to be very innovative. The alcohol brand sells their product because they are forward thinking and the idea of alcohol harm prevention appears to be cool.
After reviewing the alcohol harm prevention campaigns currently running in Australia and overseas, I am pleasantly surprised to find such a number of quality campaigns. The focus on drinking within the “realm of excellence” or until that point is reached is appealing to me and I think that this may end up having more effect on the Australian public than the scare campaigns produced by TAC (world renowned for their successful road safety ads) and other road safety organisations. However, as with all social marketing (not to be confused with marketing on social media), it can take up to ten or more years before results of health promotion campaigns, such as alcohol harm-prevention or the “slip, slop, slap” sun smart campaign, can be identified in the public.