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DrinkWise starts two-year marketing push, including more How to Drink Properly work

DrinkWise has kicked off a new initiative that will see Australia’s major alcoholic drinks firms push a united message in a show of industry collaboration that urges consumers to drink in moderation, kicking off during football finals season.

TV, radio, press, digital and outdoor will all feature in what was described as an “initiative rather than a campaign” by DrinkWise marketing manager Simon Strahan. It will run for approximately two years and be rolled out during major sporting, musical and cultural events.

The launch comes as the not-for-profit organisation and its creative agency Clemenger BBDO Melbourne prepare to roll out the next phase of the controversial ‘How to Drink Properly’ campaign in time for Schoolies in October, that will run alongside the new awareness crusade.

The introduction of the ‘You won’t miss a moment if you DrinkWise’ messaging has been timed to coincide with the AFL finals and follows research which discovered that 25 per cent of people have missed crucial moments of an event because of excessive drinking. The TV ads show the commentary of a match becoming increasingly muffled the more a drink is consumed.

Strahan told Mumbrella that, historically, alcoholic brands have adopted individual approaches to responsible drinking. The latest initiative will see all companies unite behind, and communicate, the same message with many of the executions jointly branded.

“Our contributors have all given up some of their media and sponsorship space and will push the message so there will be consistency,” he said. “It is bringing the industry together and everyone is very keen to get out there and push it.”

Strahan said the aim is not to instruct people to stop drinking but to be aware of consumption levels and ensure it does not ruin the experience of a sporting or cultural event.

“There is nothing wrong with having a drink, it’s part of the Australian culture at musical or sporting events. This is a message that says moderation is key to enjoying the occasion,” he said. The ads will appear during the AFL and NRL finals, during the Spring Carnival racing and other major events.

He added that a “finger wagging” approach to drinking does not work, with Clemenger adopting a more reflective tone.

Meanwhile, the second phase of DrinkWise and Clemenger’s controversial How to drink properly campaign will launch in late October targeting schoolies and uni orientation week. The director of the Public Health Advocacy Institute, Mike Daube, was among those who slammed the campaign as “outrageous”, claiming it would be “harmful”. 

Strahan said the campaign resonated with its 18 to 24 year old target audience as it did not take a lecturing tone.

“They said it was the first time someone had spoken to them in their language,” he said. “Research has demonstrated that it worked as one third of the target audience are drinking less.”

Steve Jones 

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