Y&R raises a special glass to responsible drinking

There are plenty of creative ways to sell more booze, but not quite as many to convince punters to drink less of it. So, in an attempt to clear up some confusion around what one standard drink means, Y&R and the Tomorrow Project, a social change initiative run by the country’s beer, wine and spirit producers aimed at educating consumers about responsible drinking, have given it its own special glass

Y&R’s managing director James Hurman says while the idea of a ‘standard drink’ is ubiquitous, only one third of us know how much is in one, which causes many to underestimate the amount they’re drinking (test your booze judgement on The Tomorrow Project’s website, cheers.co.nz). 

The idea is to get these glasses out to as many people as possible to help address the issue. And so far he says the response has been fantastic, with the initial run of over 10,000 glasses being snapped up in 12 hours by drinkers across the country. 

“It’s been inspiring working with a team that understands how to engage the consumer with a serious message,” says Jessica Venning-Byran, programme director of The Tomorrow Project. “No one wants to be lectured or berated for not being as informed as they could be, but this campaign shows that when you add real value to the consumer then they respond. This approach has the potential to revolutionise public education campaigns.”

Y&R New Zealand executive creative director Josh Moore says sometimes a brilliant solution takes the form of traditional comms, from a traditional brief. But increasingly the crucial agency thinking is taking place in the boardroom with the client. 

“The results are most often new product ideas that either serve a much-needed function, like Standard Drink, or create a much-needed perception shift. To my mind it’s all about agencies providing their clients with ideas for both the tools and the communications that will change consumer behaviour and it’s making for very exciting times in advertising. Hats off to The Tomorrow Project for embarking on a new approach that will make a real difference.”

Y&R Wellington creative director Scott Henderson says creating real change, and making it stick, is the missing part of so many social marketing campaigns. 

“The core strength of the Standard Drink campaign is that it makes change automatic, taking the hard work away from our audience. And as a lasting resource, each glass has a lasting impact.”

FYI: “A standard drink is how much alcohol the average person can process in one hour. You can’t speed this process up, and your body can only deal with one drink at a time. So, if you have three standard drinks, it will take three hours for your body to process them. The size of a standard drink depends on how strong your beer, wine or spirit is. When you’re pouring a drink yourself you need to remember that as the ABV goes up, the size of astandard drinkcomes down.”

And here’s the Tomorrow Project’s mission statement: 

We believe that alcohol can be a normal part of a healthy lifestyle when consumed in moderation.

It is a social enabler used by hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders in times of celebration and commiseration, with friends, family, colleagues and new acquaintances.

However, New Zealanders need to be better supported to understand the drivers and effects of their drinking behaviour, and to make smarter choices to keep themselves, and the people around them, safe and sociable when they are drinking.

The Tomorrow Project operates a public education programme to give New Zealanders the information the need to make good decisions about the way they drink.

Funding for the Project is provided in equal parts by the Brewers Association, Distilled Spirits Association, and New Zealand Winegrowers.

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