Why the new DrinkWise campaign is a fail

A new campaign by DrinkWise aimed at encouraging people to drink responsibly actually does the opposite, argues Joel Egan.

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne’s new campaign, ‘Drinking – do it properly’, is stylish, cool and well executed which ticks all the boxes for them. But I can’t help thinking that DrinkWise could be left picking up the pieces.

I enjoyed the video up until exactly 27 seconds when it shifted into a very grey area by talking about a phase when drinking called ‘The realm of drinking excellence’ this is where you feel ‘very, very attractive for a time’ however it can quickly spiral when a drinker then becomes very unattractive.


So exactly how many drinks does it take to reach this attractive state? The video provides no answers so I guess I should round up the fellas go to a bar and start experimenting to find ‘The realm of drinking excellence’; should be a fun night!

What the video does highlight is that video has a direct and powerful way of influencing behaviour and communicating messages. Which is why we will continue to see more organisations like DrinkWise and other community organisations (think Metro Trains’ Dumb Ways to Die) use video to gain the attention of consumers.

DrinkWise CEO John Scott told Mumbrella the campaign challenges young adults to stop and self- reflect about how they are drinking saying: “Importantly, it acknowledges that most young adults will drink, but that it’s time to think about drinking properly to stay classy, be in control and use alcohol responsibly.



Let’s not kid ourselves, this video will do nothing to change behaviour, and if that is the purpose of the campaign then it’s a massive fail.

However, it is cool and if DrinkWise want to tick the ‘cool’ box then job well done. If they want awareness, job well done.

I just can’t help but think the egos of both the agency and client might be stroked but change will be ineffective.

Joel Egan is digital director at Edge


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