The campaign against drugs that has the longest duration in the entire UK is Talk to Frank. Has it managed to get people to quit substance abuse?
A police Swat team in the UK burst into a kitchen of a quiet suburban home, and the results were a complete turnaround of the way drug education was done for good. Cautions of how drugs could cause you to become disturbed and impassioned calls to say no to the menacing pushers skulking in every single playground disappeared. In came the quirky funny side and a light-hearted attitude.
In the first ad, a mother suggests to her teenage son that they have a chat about drugs so he calls the police snatch squad. The message, "Drugs are illegal. Talking about them isn't. So Talk to Frank", was brand new as well.
One can actually say that Frank which was a brain child of "Mother" ad firm became the new National Drugs Helpline It was supposed to represent a trusted, big brother figure that young people could call for advice about drugs. Entirety from the ventures of Pablo, the canine medications mule, to a visit cycle a mind, distribution centre has been exhibited under the Frank name, making it a natural brand name among the country's youth.
The agency behind Frank has said that it was crucial that Frank was never actually seen so he could never be the target of ridicule for wearing the wrong thing or trying to be cool. Parody videos on YouTube have not been able to disrespect Frank either. There is additionally no sign that Frank is a specialist of the services, something that makes it uncommon in the annals of government-supported movements.
Right from the days of Nancy Reagan, a lot has been done about drugs education, and the Grange Hill cast which a lot of people opine that it did more harm than good, simply encouraged people to "Just Say No" to drugs.
Most promotions in Europe now concentrate, similar to Frank, on attempting to give fair-minded data to help youngsters settle on their own choices. In some places where there are still tough penalties for possession, ads showing prison bars or disappointed parents are still the norm. For example, in Singapore, a recent campaign recently told young people, "You play, you pay."
In the United States of America, the federal government has spent millions of dollars on a long-running campaign, Above the Influence, that sells positive possibilities to using substances by making use of a combination of funny and cautionary stories. One ad shows a group of "stoners" sitting on a sofa and emphasizes talking to young people in the language of their generation. Though, an unexpected number of anti-drug campaigns all over the globe still resort back to strategies intended to arouse fear or alarm, specifically the substance-fuelled plunge to hell. A good example is a Canadian commercial that appeared recently and formed part of the DrugsNot4Me series in which a beautiful, self-assured young woman changes into a trembling, hollow-eyed skeleton because of "drugs".
Research that was done on a UK anti-drug campaign between 1999 and 2004 shows that describing the negative effects of abuse will often actually encourage young people "on the margins of society" to use drugs.
Frank was ground-breaking and criticised by Conservative politicians at the time because they felt it suggest that there were some good things to go along with all the bad about drugs.
One primary online promotion educated viewers: "Cocaine makes you feel high and in charge."
Balancing the message is not always easy to get right. Matt Powell was the creative director of digital agency Profero, the company that came up with the cocaine ad; he now thinks he miscalculated the time an average user spends on browsing the internet. The negative effects were given at the end of the animated ad and some viewers might not have watched the whole thing. Establishing the integrity of the Frank brand by telling the youth the truth about drugs and their effects was the ultimate aim of the ad, Powell states.
One survey said that 67 percent of young people would call Frank if they needed advice about drugs. The Frank helpline received 225,892 calls and the website received 3,341,777 visits between 2011 and 2012. For him, this shows that the campaign is very successful.
Though the response is good, it is no evidence that Frank just like other available anti-drug campaigns has discouraged people from indulging in drugs.
During the decade that the Frank campaign was introduced, drug abuse figures in the UK have reduced by 9%; however, much of the decline has been attributed to a reduction in the use of cannabis as the more youth shun smoking tobacco.
FRANK was launched in 2003 as a collaborated effort of the Department of Health and Home Office of the British government as a national drug education service. FRANK's vision is to equip the youth with the bold facts and knowledge about the legal and illegal use of narcotics to reduce the drug use. It has run numerous media promotions on radio and the web.
FRANK has the following resources for anyone looking for information about drugs: