28 May 2014
A radical social marketing program to change the damaging drinking culture of many young Australian adults has shown strong results in just three months.
One third of 18-24 year olds who experienced the “How To Drink Properly” campaign say they now drink less on a night out, and more than 80 per cent think about the benefits of moderating alcohol consumption.
The first of its kind campaign was developed by Drinkwise, an industry-funded, evidence-based organisation promoting a more responsible drinking culture.
Drinkwise chairman and former Victoria Police Commissioner, Neil Comrie AO APM, said on a normal night out nearly 30 per cent of 18-24 year olds consumed more than seven standard drinks.
“On what those young adults might describe as ‘a big night out’, it rises to more than 11 standard drinks. What follows that is greater risk of harm, shame, loss and heightened personal risk,” said Mr Comrie.
Drinkwise acknowledged from the outset of How To Drink Properly in February this year that the program – with its adults only language and confronting but entertaining visuals delivered primarily through shareable social media – would confront and challenge many Australians.
“We’re determined to succeed where others have failed, talking to the two million or so Australians who are aged 18 to 24, in the language they use, via mediums they trust, and providing content they will respond to positively and share with peers,” said Mr Comrie.
“And young adults have responded strongly to the first phase that aims to make binge drinking to get drunk socially unacceptable, with 81% now thinking about the effects of moderation.
“Obviously this early into such a program, we’re yet to substantiate any broad, lasting impact on attitudes or behaviour, but DrinkWise recognise that this is a valuable investment in addressing the huge social and financial cost of binge drinking.
“But our early third party research indicators are very positive and we go into the next phase of How To Drink Properly with energy, enthusiasm – and evidence – that this will bring about long-term change.
“In an emerging era of collaborative and highly-specific public health communication – a world away from mass broadcast-based and government-sponsored initiatives – we genuinely believe we’re backing a winner.”
How To Drink Properly gains since launch in February 2014:
- It is estimated that over 90 per cent of two million Australian 18-24 year olds had access to the DrinkWise message
- More than two million social media video views
- 55 000 Facebook interactions, and social media engagement measures more than 10 times greater than Public Service Announcement benchmarks
- Overall sentiment nearly 90 per cent positive