Wednesday, 5 March 2014

New DrinkWise commercials promote "proper" drinking

You may have seen an earlier post about an ad campaign in New Zealand that was a bit "outside the box" in terms of drug and alcohol awareness.  Another campaign has been launched recently that might also be described as falling outside of the usual.

If you haven't come across it yet, DrinkWise - a not-for-profit organisation established by the alcohol industry to promote safer and healthier drinking behaviours - has launched an online campaign to promote "classy" drinking.  The adverts aim to draw a distinction between what is appropriate drinking behaviour and what is not.

The target group for the ads is young adults and the clips are currently circulating through social media.

There has been an uproar from professionals in the area, as well as less informed commentators.  You can see some of the back lash here:

DrinkWise's cynical campaign shouldn't fool anyone - Adrian Carter (NHMRC Research Fellow at The University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research)  & Wayne Hall (Professor and Director of the Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research at the University of Queensland). The Conversation.

Expert condemns 'appalling' DrinkWise campaign - Amanda Hoh & Megan Levy, quoting Professor Mike Daube, the director of the Public Health Advocacy Institute and the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth.  Sydney Morning Herald.

Susie O'Brien: If the new DrinkWise ad is supposed to promote safe drinking it's sadly missing a sober mark. Herald Sun.

Somewhat predictably, less informed commentators are calling for more "scare them straight" tactics.  Evidence suggests that these scare campaigns don't work.  Will the DrinkWise campaign be effective, or will it do what some fear and promote drinking?   

Before proceeding please note: these items contain coarse language that may offend.
The website with ads is locate here:


  1. I absolutely love that ad- I think younger people will actually take notice of it or actually watch it. Scare tactics do not often work on the younger generation because of the 'I am invincible' and 'That's tomorrows problem' mentality. Taking it from the view point of 'how to drink to make yourself look/be better' will probably be more effective based on the self absorbed nature of our youth.

    Ultimately, drinking campaigns give education but who listens? Alcohol is a 'legal' drug and as such, people often think 'who cares, if it was so bad it would be illegal'.

    There needs to be more ads like this but for cannabis and other readily used drugs in Australia.

  2. I'm 23 this year and this is probably the first ad about drinking that I have actually been interested in watching. Scare tactics do not work and this ad may actually interest people enough to joke about when they do go out drinking, checking to see who has no idea about their limits. This ad may actually get people talking and interested in safe drinking practices.
    I don’t think this ad will encourage people to drink. I think it is important to recognise that young people are drinking and if this is what gets them to actually start thinking about their drinking, then bring it on.

  3. Thanks for your comments! I think it will be well received by the target group, even if the experts aren't happy. Will be interesting to see how effective it is. Kate.