Sober October at this PR agency: Top anti-drink ads

Manchester PR agency

Struggling with Sober October? Feeling pressure from another invite to the warm sanctuary of a pub in autumn? To mark the halfway point of what for many is a real test of psychological strength, this Manchester PR agency has compiled a list of anti-alcohol ads you really need to see.

The concept is nothing new. PSAs, or Public Service Announcements, have been around for as long as the printed media, then radio and then television. When it comes to anti-alcohol, the history is a little shorter, but we can still trace things back to well over half a century ago. Here’s Britain’s first attempt at persuading us not to drink and drive…

Needless to say, things have come pretty far since then. Not to mention much, much harder-hitting. Take this example from the same THINK! campaign, marking 50 years of warnings, which this Manchester PR agency recently re-discovered…

It’s not all about the repercussions of drinking and driving, though. Without further ado, here’s a selection of anti-drinking campaigns that we think will help put you off that pint or 175ml glass for another couple of weeks. And when you’re done here, check out this rundown of what we like to call ‘anti-message marketing’.

‘Drunk Uncle’ — New Zealand 

Often referred to as ‘the swinging baby ad’, this effort from way, way Down Under focuses on the social consequences of alcohol abuse. It was unanimously deemed appropriate for prime time TV by censors. This Manchester PR agency agrees with the decision.

‘I See’ — Australia

Differentiating itself from the vast majority of other anti-drink campaigns, ‘I See’ uses real, first person accounts to highlight the issues problem drinking creates. Truth is always more powerful than fiction (well, usually).

‘Shame’ — Northern Ireland 

Made all the more harrowing thanks to its slow-mo introduction, not to mention the Fleetwood Mac score (a firm favourite band at this Manchester PR agency). When ‘Shame’ was released (circa 2000), it was one of the most effective ads of its kind according to market research.

‘IQ’ — Sweden 

The final entry on our list is the most surprising and memorable. A supposed whisky commercial u-turns to reveal horrifying stats about Sweden’s alcohol problems.


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