Why Let Good Times Go Bad? campaign evaluation (2011-2012)
In the period 2009-2013 Drinkaware ran a campaign targeting young people who drink excessively on a night out. Two different evaluations provided insights into its effects.
An evaluation study undertaken by the market research company, Millward Brown, surveyed 1,000 18-24 year olds in each of the years 2011 and 2012, and key findings included:
- Prompted awareness of the campaign posters was at 39% in 2012, increasing significantly from 27% in 2011.
- Claimed intentional drunkenness remained highly prevalent amongst research participants, with 50% in 2011 and 48% in 2012 claiming to go out with the intention of getting drunk ‘at least once a week’.
- Fewer agreed with the statement ‘I don’t have to get drunk to have a good night out’ in 2012 (70%) than seen in 2011 (80%).
- Future drink moderation (or ‘control’) strategies need to be positioned carefully so as to not simply further behaviours that young people may subjectively or ‘easily’ feel they already do; for example ‘pacing themselves whilst drinking’. Furthermore, the control strategies for future creative evolution need to be realistic, accessible and simple.
Another evaluation study was undertaken without Drinkaware funding or involvement. A team of researchers at London South Bank University and King’s College London used the campaign materials in a series of lab-based experiments to assess student drinkers’ (aged 18-28) visual engagement with campaign materials and their impact on drinking behaviour.
The study found that:
- Campaign poster materials promoting responsible drinking were associated with increased consumption amongst undergraduate students, suggesting that poster campaigns to reduce alcohol harms may be having the opposite effect to that intended.
- Further research is required to refine appropriate methodologies for assessing drinking behaviour in simulated drinking environments, to ensure that future public health campaigns of this kind are having their intended effect.
Based on the evaluation findings Drinkaware decided in 2013 to bring the campaign to an end. To better understand how to reduce the harms and costs associated with drinking in the night time economy in-depth research was commissioned, leading to the Drunken Nights Out report.