‘Don’t let a little habit turn into a big problem’, warns ad targeting lockdown drinkers

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) is warning Australian drinkers about how easy it is for a “few drinks every night” in lockdown to become a problematic habit, which could follow them around in “normal” life.

The campaign comes after a survey of 1,000 Australians found that one in five wish they had drunk less alcohol during the lockdown and 20% want to reduce the amount of alcohol they’ve been consuming recently.

The campaign, which depicts the habit of drinking as an animated creature, was funded by the Australian Government. It follows another campaign from the ADF that raised awareness about the behaviours children learn from parents drinking in front of them in lockdown.

The new ads are targeted at Australians aged 21 to 51 in metro areas.

The campaign was created by Campaign Edge, with the visual effects done by Cutting Edge, media by Atomic 212 and PR by Icon Agency.

Executive creative director of Campaign Edge, Dee Madigan, said the key to the campaign was not making the audience feel bad.

“Making people feel bad about themselves isn’t the way to change behaviour. The creature allows us to focus on the habit rather than the person. The interesting fact about how habits are formed in 66 days makes the ad particularly relevant and it removes the guilt. Frankly, it’s no wonder people came out of COVID drinking too much – God knows, I did,” she said.

“It was a balancing act getting the creature right ­– not too hideous but not too cute. Not too hideous because many Australians do enjoy having a few drinks at night ­– so there is no point pretending it’s not attractive. A really revolting habit at the start of the ad would also have turned the target market off ­– they would have thought ‘That’s not me ­– I wouldn’t have a habit so gross’.

“The idea was to show how a little habit can turn into something that’s actually a bit scary. We also wanted to show how empowering it can feel to put that lid back on the bottle and make the creature go away.”

Matt Thomas, Icon Agency’s Head of Public Relations, said: “Based on a growing data pool that many Australians increased their alcohol consumption during the coronavirus lockdown, this was an important topic that needed to be approached in a targeted and timely manner.

“Understanding the ways in which Australians have responded to the pandemic thus far and the impact ongoing uncertainty is having on them was central to developing our behaviour change methodology to support the amplification of this campaign across media relations, influencers, stakeholder amplification and social.”

The campaign will appear on earned, paid, owned and shared channels.


Client – Alcohol and Drug Foundation
Head of Marketing and Communications: Cinzia Marrocco
Marketing Manager: Petra Keckeisen
Communications Manager: Kelly Ward
Media Manager: Carmel Green
Digital Marketing specialist: Sakina Saxena
Senior Campaign Coordinator – Rebecca Martinelli

Creative agency – Campaign Edge
ECD/Writer: Dee Madigan
Art Director: Samantha Harley
Managing Director: Stuart Gillies
Account Director: Ari Margossian
Production Company: Edge Studios
Director: Simon ‘Mo’ Macrae
Post Production: Cutting Edge
Digital: Paul Judge, Jayden Anderson

Integration agency – Icon Agency
Strategy and integration lead
Head of Public Relations: Matt Thomas

Media and stakeholder relations
Associate Account Director: Sophia Pellatt
Account Manager: Rebecca Peck
Account Coordinator: Annie McBrearty

Influencer engagement
Account Director: Fiona Miller
Account Executive: Robyn Rigoli

Social Media
Group Account Director: Hazel Tiernan
Creative strategy: Emily Naismith
Junior Account Director: Jo Raine
Senior Designer: Mark Oriondo
Account Executive: Alex Tanner

Media Agency – Atomic 212
Claire Fenner – Managing Director
Rory Heffernan – General Manager
Asier Carazo – Strategy Director
Sarah O’Leary – Head of Client Service
Devon Roberts – Planning & Trading Director
Taylor Suen – Performance Director
Anna Nguyen – Planning & Trading Manager
Elise Pektuzun – Paid Social Media Manager


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.