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Ads Designed by the Target Market

The Washington Post recently published an article how a group of students at the University of Virginia created ads to stop binge drinking as part of a contest run by the National Student Advertising Competition. It was the first time the competition had an issue-based theme and the students were aware that they were part of the target market. Some of the 142 teams used shock tactics others tried to appeal to the responsible friend to step in and stop their friends drinking too much. The University of Virginia students came to the conclusion – after conducting nine surveys,  running 24 focus groups and reading hundreds of research articles – that shock tactics didn’t work for their target audience so they invented a more positive slogan: Live More. Drink Less.

They extended the idea to include other words: Road Trip More. Drink Less and Score More. Drink Less (for sporting events). They set up stall at a fair with slogan T-shirts to road test the concept and gave away all 300 T-shirts within 30 minutes, with people asking where they could get hold of them.

Despite their efforts another team won.

Read the full article.

The Australian Government obviously decided that shock tactics are needed when they invited young filmmakers to make short films the theme of “Don’t Turn a Night Out into a Nightmare”. The submitted films were judged by a panel and the six best chosen. The public now has the chance to win $5,000 by voting for their favorite film.

Watch the shortlisted films here.


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