What about you? 

rEGIONAL pUBLIC hEALTH - hutt Valley

Objective: To reduce harmful alcohol consumption amongst WelTec students by challenging their misperceptions of peer drinking norms.

What is it?  A marketing campaign to correct misperceptions about drinking norms by communicating facts about low risk drinking patterns that are common among most young New Zealanders. For instance – “3 out of 4 young kiwis (18-24 years) didn’t binge drink last time they were drinking. What about you?”.  A strong body of evidence indicates this is an effective strategy for reducing high risk drinking, as young people can often assume their peers are drinking more than they really are. 

The campaign used several media modes and dissemination strategies to promote the key facts and the key message “What about you?”. This phrase was chosen by our young creative team and aims to not only personalise the message to the individual being targeted, but has the overall purpose of asking the individual to reflect on their own drinking behavior in relation to the majority. The campaign has been run twice at Weltec, 2015 and 2016. 

Results to date:  Evaluation of the 2015 campaign at Weltec showed the campaign was successful in realigning misperceptions and shifting students’ perceptions of peer drinking norms, but it was unclear how much of an influence it had on individual drinking.  Participants found the use of bright, colourful images and the self-reflective nature of the campaign concept to be particularly good.

The campaign has also been adopted and rolled out by Tauranga City Council and Canterbury University both in 2016.