Cheers uses cringeworthy tactics to promote safe drinking to teens

The sex talk is a dreaded part of any teenager’s life, an awkward dance of euphemisms around a topic that both parties would rather not address at all. And, if the new Cheers campaign by Y&R is anything to go by, the alcohol talk isn’t that much better. 

Based on the premise ‘what if we talked about sex the same way we talk about drinking’, the new campaign is an attempt by Cheers to break down traditional barriers and promote better conversations between parents and their kids.

Research by the programme found that teenagers think their parents do well on the ‘sex’ talk, but struggle on the alcohol chat. Robert Brewer from Cheers says parents should be arming teens with the knowledge to make good decisions around alcohol.

He says teens can’t be watched all the time, and parents can’t pretend they won’t experiment with alcohol.

Y&R NZ Wellington managing director Tim Ellis says the key thing with this idea is that it plays off the insight that most parents think they’re really knowledgeable about alcohol and its affects, but in reality, they’re far less informed than they think they are.

“They can treat it somewhat lightly when talking with their teenagers – joke about hangovers or being too drunk, and even celebrate their past experiences and ‘war stories’,” he says. “We wanted to get parents attention and reframe how they discuss alcohol and drinking with their teenagers, by asking them: imagine if we talked to our kids about sex like we talk to them about alcohol?”

As well as spots on Facebook and TVNZ Ondemand, the campaign is supported by cheers.org.nz with tips and ideas of how parents can better talk to their teens around the subject of alcohol. 


Client: Cheers!
​Programme director: Shelley Crestani
Agency: Y&R NZ
Creative director: Scott Henderson / Seymour Pope
Copywriter: Lizzie Baird
Art director: Arizona Doolan
Executive TV producer: Christina Hazard
Senior account manager: Charlie Lee
Production company: Thick as Thieves
Director: Michelle Savill
Executive producer: Nik Beachman
DOP: Andrew Stroud
Editor: Tom Eagles
Public relations: the pr shop
Account director: Pippa Lekner
Senior account manager: Tom Frankish

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