Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills @thomhills at the Psychology Department of the University of Warwick. This work was supported by funding from Warwick's Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Parties: Expectations vs Reality Campaign

What kind of party animal are you? This is a nationwide campaign implemented by State Sanitary Inspectorate in Poland, 2017. The main aim of this program is a drug abuse prevention among adolescents via YouTube (click here). The project is consisted of 10 advertising spots presenting two perspectives: the party person experience and the social perception of the same situation. This post will examine some strengths and weaknesses of the campaign.

The advantages of this project are the quality and the social accessibility of the presented videos. Considering the target audience, the authors have taken the perspective of adolescents using slang expressions, influencers and catchy songs. One one hand, as the slogan goes: 'no publicity is bad publicity', the videos have reached very broad reach and engagement (from 152k to 448k views on YouTube). But on the other, it had caused unnecessary distractions for instance questions about the title of the soundtrack or jokes, which discouraged from the main issue of the project. Moreover, the part about the expectations became more visually attractive than the 'reality' part. Thus, it could create the opposite effect. Adolescents may feel more encouraged to try a drug or underestimate its effects. However, it is only a speculation, there is no evaluation available. 

In contrast to the Parties: Expectations vs Reality Campaign, the click here based in the U.S. have also created a prevention program.  Using different strategy, more emotionally engaged methods, the authors aimed at reducing meth use. Nevertheless, the evaluation results indicated ineffectiveness (Anderson, 2010). The final thought should raise a question, what could make the prevention program more effective: designing action from the target group perspective or using the element of threat in order to have an effect? 

Anderson, D. M. (2010). Does information matter? The effect of the Meth Project on meth use among youths. Journal of Health Economics, 29(5), 732-742.
Kuchta M. (1, February 2017). Mocne i słabe strony kampanii społecznej „Melanż. Oczekiwania vs. rzeczywistość”. Retrived March 21, 2018 from

Natalia Bogacz

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