Excessive consumption

Addressing binge drinking - Responsible drinking campaigns

Responsible drinking campaigns


Following on from the Danish Brewers’ “Er du klar?” (“Are You Ready?)” information and education campaign on responsible drinking, targeted at young people, their parents and other near-peers, the Danish Partnership for a responsible alcohol culture is an ambitious initiative started in 2014 to promote a responsible alcohol culture in Denmark. Part-funded by the Danish authorities, the goal of the partnership, together with other alcohol drinks categories and the on/off trade sectors, is to work towards the health goals to reduce harmful alcohol intake as set out by the Danish health authorities.

In 2015 a contest and two movies were made by famous Danish comedians to help promote a mutual sense of
responsibility among young people in a humorous way. The Danish Brewers association together with the Danish Red Cross launched the campaign because alcohol and partying is part of being young. The message is that it is important to take care of each other when out at night. Bryggeriforeningen supported the campaign as part of many years’ efforts to support a responsible alcohol culture among young people. The small films were viewed 180,000 times on the web and had a total reach of 750,000 people.

In September 2015 Carlsberg Denmark together with the Marketing Lab Organization at the Copenhagen Business School (CBS) also prepared a student Case Competition to address a relevant Tuborg responsible marketing dilemma. The task was to create an innovative 3-year plan for building awareness for ‘Drink with Respect’. Over 50 students from CBS participated at the competition, each group coming up with a potential solution which was then submitted to the judge panel for evaluation. The winning proposal was announced on October 1st, 2015 on the Marketing Lab Facebook page.

Er du klar?  Marketing Lab Organization at the Copenhagen Business


In Ireland, ‘Rethinking our drinking” is an initiative by Drinkaware Ireland post-funded by Irish brewers to promote a change in people’s attitude to alcohol abuse, with a view to prompting a re-appraisal of some drinking behaviours and the damage they can cause to innocent third-parties. Phase two of ‘Rethinking our Drinking’, the “Pacing” campaign, encouraged people to adopt a more moderate style of drinking by promoting the benefits of a slower pace. The campaign was communicated through TV, outdoor and digital media. This phase built upon research carried out at the start of 2012 that showed that intolerance of public drunkenness is strong and over 80 percent of people had become “much more aware of excessive drinking and how it affects others”. Research by Millward Brown Landsdowne in January 2013 showed that, following the “Pacing” campaign, 67 percent of over-18s thought”about the pace of their drinking more than they used to”, whilst 64 percent thought “about how much they drink more than they used to”. Closely linked, the awareness level of www.drinkaware.ie amongst 18-29 year olds (the site’s key target audience) increased to 91 percent.

Rethinking our drinking

The Morning After campaign over the Christmas period was refreshed in December 2013 with a new radio
advertisement and a greater focus on digital media. The Ultimate Christmas Guide highlights tips for making the most of the festive season including; tips for pacing your drinking and fighting the festive bloat. In addition to digital downloads over 27,000 hard copies have been distributed since the guide launch. The 12 Tips of Christmas social media campaign also asked Facebook users to answer a responsible drinking question for their chance to win one of 12 prizes. Answers to the previous day’s question were posted to the Facebook wall and the page received 10,000+ likes over the course of the campaign, with a large increase in engagement figures.

In March 2014 a partnership with Hailo Taxi App and drinkaware.ie promoted making the most of the St. Patrick’s festivities, while reminding people to pace themselves and ensure they got home safely. From 11 to 18 March, over 100 green vouchers were gifted to passengers in Hailo cabs throughout Dublin. As an official partner of the “St. Patrick’s Festival”, the drinkaware.ie logo is also included on all festival materials, with text inclusion in festival newsletters and parade route branding.

In 2014 www.drinkaware.ie also partnered with the “Paddy’s Day Unlocked” event in Limerick which highlighted Ireland’s creativity rather than focusing solely on alcohol. Furthermore, Student Survival Guides, undertaken in partnership with the Union of Students in Ireland and universities and colleges, offer students practical advice about drinking. In March 2013, the program was supported by washroom advertising (300 display points) highlighting the ‘Pacing’ message, to coincide with college RAG weeks. A second burst of washroom advertising took place in November 2013 highlighting the Dare2BDrinkaware.ie competition deadline.


In the UK, also as part of the Public Health Responsibility Deal, the British Beer and Pub Association and other industry members pledged to maintain at least through to 2013 the levels of financial support and in-kind funding not just for Drinkaware but also for the “Why let good times go bad?” campaign. Costing one hundred million pounds over five years, the campaign was cited in the UK government’s 2012 alcohol strategy as a good example of how to make appropriate information easily accessible for young adults. Research by Millward Brown showed that 80 percent of 18-24 year olds claimed to have adopted at least one of the campaign tips to help them moderate their drinking


In Slovakia, 2012 saw a landmark first ever common project involving industry and the Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic (PHASR). This annual initiative by the Slovak Brewers also includes cooperation with the Police Headquarters of the Slovak Republic, and the Road Traffic Safety Department of the Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development of the Slovak Republic (BECEP). The campaign has been held under the auspices of the Chairman of the Public Health Committee of the Slovak Parliament with positive reactions of the media. The objective of the Responsibility Day is to provide the public with information on the consequences of alcohol abuse and to show them the possibilities for prevention. In 2012 the PHASR conducted over 3500 examinations in hospitals, pharmacies, shopping centres and other venues across 36 towns. Test centres were located in selected shopping centres, pharmacies, hospitals and municipal offices as well as some other institutions. Tests offered included a liver test (a raised level can be connected with alcohol abuse), blood pressure measurement, and a short questionnaire related to alcohol consumption. Interested people were examined and over 1800 questionnaires completed regarding alcohol consumption. The Slovak Brewers ran a special patrol handing out information leaflets and contact details for the public to obtain further information.


Also in Slovakia, in 2014 Heineken ran the first of a series of expert partner dialogues, where key partners are invited to a meeting with experts who work on the topic of a responsible attitude to alcohol and discouraging its excessive use. A wide group of stakeholders, comprising psychologists, psychiatrists, and representatives from government and international institutions shared their significant knowledge on this topic and provided their feedback on the company’s activities in the area of responsible consumption.

Czech Republic

“Pijte s mírou” (“Drink moderately/with Míra”) is an awareness-raising campaign in the Czech Republic which conveys Heineken’s responsibility message in a humorous way. The project started in 2010, urging consumers to exercise moderation when drinking beer. Since then, this familiar saying has become part of all packaging and commercial materials for the Krušovice, Zlatopramen, Starobrno, Březňák and Hostan brands. The information campaign also includes the www.pijtesmirou.cz/intro website and can be followed and supported on Facebook. In 2013, the innovation was that the project guide, Mira, had grown up, become more serious and thoughtful and now deals with a wider spectrum of issues. Not only does Míra promote responsible consumption of beer and alcohol, but he looks at the social responsibility of beer producers from a comprehensive perspective, including environmental. Míra shares information on responsibility projects run in cooperation with partners including the Helping Hands foundation.


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