The innovative How To Drink Properly campaign shows that responsible drinking messages can succeed through humour and careful targeting

Research from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has identified that those in the 18-24 age bracket are more likely to drink irresponsibly than the average Australian. But changing young adults’ behaviour is notoriously tricky; if a message is too ‘preachy’, it is likely to be ignored. This was the challenge facing DrinkWise Australia, an industry-funded organisation that promotes a more responsible drinking culture, and which is supported by our business in Australia, Carlton & United Breweries.

Research commissioned by DrinkWise investigated the attitudes of young Australians towards alcohol consumption, and identified that many could potentially be influenced by relevant and impactful messages, provided that these were tailored to get their attention and addressed the specific concerns of the age group – such as maintaining a good reputation among their peers.
Using this research as its raw material, in February 2014 DrinkWise created the first phase of a long-term campaign to shape attitudes towards drinking in moderation. Employing a stylish graphic treatment, humour and very blunt language, 
How to Drink Properly makes full use of social media to reach its target audience with the core message that irresponsible drinking can make a good night out end badly.


The campaign attracted some negative media coverage for its use of swearing; however it quickly went viral, amassing more than two million social media video views, as well as 55,000 Facebook interactions. In all, more than 90% of Australia’s 18-24 year-olds have heard the DrinkWise message. Research found that 81% of young people who had seen the campaign were now thinking about the benefits of moderation, with one in three stating that since seeing the campaign they had reduced their drinking.

Click here to visit the How To Drink Properly YouTube channel – but be warned, the content contains strong language and is for adults only.

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