The overall aim of the initial stage of this two-year campaign was to start to promote and normalise the idea of drink free days and alcohol moderation generally.
Campaign reach and engagement
The radio advertising reached 65% of men and women aged 45-64 in social grades CI, C2 and D. On average, the advertising was listened to around 20 time by each person reached.
The digital advertising was clicked on over 870,000 times and over 430,000 people visited the campaign website drinkfreedays.co.uk. Of these, more than 330,000 assessed their drinking. Two thirds who did this were drinking at increasing risk levels or above, as measured using a standard alcohol assessment tool (AUDIT-C).
In addition, during the 10-week campaign period more than 30,000 downloaded Public Health England’s Drink Free Days App and 25,000 downloaded the Drinkaware App.
Pre-post campaign survey
Using a representative online panel YouGov undertook a pre-campaign survey in May 2018 (n=4,159) and a post-campaign survey in November 2018 (n=3,687), including midlife men and women (aged 40-64) in England and Scotland. South West England had been chosen as a control area.
- Campaign recall: The campaign achieved good recall among target audiences. Midlife women, compared to men, were more receptive and willing to engage with the alcohol harm messages.
- Female campaign perceptions: Both the breast cancer and weight messages performed well, and they resonated well with the target audience.
- Male campaign perceptions: The messages engaged around half of the men, particularly those in England drinking over the low risk guidelines. Scottish men drinking over the low risk drinking guidelines were less engaged with hard-hitting health messages, suggesting a different approach or message strategy could be more effective for them.
- UK drinker segments’ perceptions: The campaign mainly resonated with the UK drinker segments who drink routinely and at risky levels.
- Campaign influence: There is evidence that people who had seen the campaign were influenced to consider their drinking and take action to have more drink-free days. This impact was greatest among men drinking over the low risk drinking guidelines, and stronger in England than in Scotland.
- Awareness of health harms: There was some increase in health harm awareness associated with the campaign.
- Impact on attitudes and behaviour: There is some evidence of the campaign making a positive impact in terms of more people trying to cut down and take drink-free days, especially among those drinking over the low risk drinking guidelines.
The Drink Free Days campaign was run in collaboration with Public Health England (PHE), who commissioned their own evaluation of the campaign.