The DEN have developed two successful campaigns with the aim of informing the Tasmanian public about alcohol. Explore the two campaigns below
- Alcohol Is A Drug Too!
- Think Before You Drink
Alcohol is a Drug Too!
Alcohol is a Drug Too! was the theme for Drug Action Week, 2008 and 2009. From this theme The DEN ran a Tasmanian Mass Media Campaign aimed to raise awareness around the harms of alcohol through promotion of the messages “Alcohol Is A Drug Too!”
Key Outcomes and Aims
- To reduce harms associated with alcohol and other drug use through health promotion and community education
- To engage young people in raising public awareness of alcohol misuse in the community as a Primary Prevention activity
The need for such an initiative was identified through a review of current evidence. For example the 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey found that 86% of Tasmanian’s over the age of 14 years drink alcohol. Of these:
- 40% are drinking at levels that place them at risk of short term harm;
- 12% are drinking at levels that place them at risk of long term harm.
- Approximately 9% of 14-19 year olds drink at risky levels at least weekly; and,
- Almost 15% of those in the 20-29 age groups had similar drinking habits.
According to National Drug Research Institute data, Tasmania has the third highest mortality rate in young people aged 15 – 24 years in Australia. And, in 2007, alcohol was implicated in just under a third (31%) of serious casualties involving drivers aged 17-29 years. Of these, the majority (51%) involved young people less than 21 years of age.
The DEN ran a youth poster competition across Tasmania during Drug Action Week in 2009 to create a range of peer targeted posters to raise awareness of the Alcohol is a Drug Too! message. Five posters were selected to feature in a Tasmania mass media campaign promoted through metro bus advertising, back of public toilet doors, Facebook, t-shirts, billboards, newspapers, select magazines and posters placed in educational institutions and community libraries. Outcomes of the project included the distribution of 7000 posters and almost 83 million estimated exposures to campaign advertising and materials. The campaign evaluation identified that:
- 60% of the total number of respondents recalled at least one campaign, with a higher recall by younger people and particularly female respondents.
- Some 62% of respondents recalled the messages think before you drink and alcohol is a drug too. However, many respondents linked the former message with responsible driving behaviours.
- 28% reported some change in their attitude towards alcohol use with 20% reporting this was as a direct consequence to the campaign messages.
View the campaign posters and photos
Think Before You Drink
Alcohol use is an accepted norm in Australian culture until it goes wrong. Everyone else has a problem. Prevention activities are delivered within the scope of primary prevention (raising public awareness); secondary prevention (identifying higher risk groups); and early intervention. It is our assertion that the majority of Tasmania’s are unaware of the real scope of the problem outside of current themes and biases portrayed in contemporary media. Social change begins with enhanced awareness of the true scope of a problem and engages the whole community in its solution. At a community level, reducing the harms associated with alcohol use requires a shift in socially and culturally accepted norms – attitudes and belief systems – that perpetuates the social acceptance of the use of a drug. In changing individual behaviour, for example:
- All adults accept their personal responsibility to be positive role models.
- Dominant notions of socially accepted patterns of alcohol use are challenged.
- Evidence of the impact of alcohol on the developing brain is disseminated.
The DEN commissioned Corporate Communications to develop creative design concepts for a state-wide health campaign in the second half of 2010 to test an assumption that patterns of risky drinking did not only fall within the domain of younger Australians. A reference group was first established and considered campaign objectives plotted in a matrix. The Think Before You Drink slogan had already been adopted in previous DEN mass media projects and was retained within a television advertisement developed to target adult Tasmanians. A static image from the television advertisement was adopted for bus back advertisement. The television advertisement was designed to establish a tension or discord in the viewers’ mind and grab public attention. While the action is played out by two children, the voices are those of two adults.
“What is all this about?’ “Why are they talking that way?” “This is intriguing.”
“We hear a normal conversation by two concerned parents, but realise they are talking about their dolls, all the while mimicking parents behaviours. We are illustrating a real social issue – the link between normalised alcohol use/misuse and the modelling effect our behaviour has on our children. The children demonstrate to the target audience – mothers, fathers, young people adults, and older persons alike – our society’s double standard:
It’s alright for me to drink (“I can hold my cordial”), but not you.
Seeing innocent children acting the way their parents do is intended to be confronting, especially to parents, in order to encourage them to modify their behaviour. They are highlighting the fact that our decisions about how we drink affect all those around us especially children. The subtext is clear: A big part of the way our children learn to be who they are is by watching us, their parents.
Prevention Stage Focus
Key Outcomes and Broad Aims
- To raise awareness of the impact of alcohol use across all sections and ages of the Tasmanian community
- To meet identified community priorities for the issues of the interrelationship between alcohol and short and long term harms
- To de-mythologise current biases that support notions of alcohol related harms falling within the domain of certain population groups.
- To promote the idea that we are all affected by alcohol use, whether this be directly or indirectly
- Evidence of the impact of alcohol on the developing brain is disseminated
- A 30 second television advertisement addressing a key issue raised that alcohol use/misuse ought to concern everyone (run for a 3 month period).
- Back of bus advertising state – wide – image of table with empty bottles and cup with a message, ‘What are you teaching your children?’
- For the television advertisement to be seen multiple times by a large viewing audience, particularly at times of highest viewer ratings or at times when particular audiences are known to be watching television.
An evaluation has been conducted and a summary of results will be released July 2011.