The longest running anti-drug campaign in the UK is Talk to Frank. Yet, has it halted anybody taking drugs?
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. Grim warnings about how drugs could mess you up and genuine pleas to resist the pushers that were creeping around every playground were gone. In came strange humour and a light, yet energetic approach.
In the main advertisement, an adolescent kid brings in a police grab squad to capture his mom when she recommends they have a tranquil chat about medications. The message was new as well: "Drugs are illicit. Discussing them isn't. So Talk to Frank."
Frank: Cordial Private Drug Guidance
Devised by the advertising agency, Mother, Frank was actually the National Drugs Helpline brand new name. Young people were meant to feel Frank was a helpful elder brother they could trust and from whom they could seek advice on illegal drugs. Frank is has become a household name among the young people due to the many adventure stories that came from the theme such as Pablo the drugs mule dog to a tour of the brain warehouse.
Significantly, Frank was never found in the flesh, so would never be the objective of joke for wearing the wrong trainers or attempting to be "down with the children," says Justin Tindall, inventive director of ad organization Leo Burnett. Surprisingly, the funny imitations of the Frank videos found on YouTube are quite polite. There's also no indication that Frank is working for the government, which is unusual for a government funded campaign.
Substance education has developed a lot since Nancy Reagan, and in the United Kingdom, Grange Hill cast encouraged teens to simply "Say No" to drugs, a campaign which several professionals now think had the opposite of the desire effect.
Majority of the ads in Europe now follow the footsteps of Frank in trying to be sincere and allowing the teenagers the right to choose. In places that have harsh penalties for being in possession, pictures/photos of prison cells and embarrassed parents remain common. You play, you pay is a campaign that was launched in Singapore recently.
Above the Influence is a campaign that mixes jokes and warning stories that the federal government has been using in the UK for a long time; it also offers positive alternatives to drugs. The accentuation is on conversing with youngsters in their own particular dialect - one promotion demonstrates a group of "stoners" marooned on a couch. Around the world, a good number of anti-drug campaigns still use the scare tricks of old, "descent into hell," being one of the most used. The DrugsNot4Me series recently launched a commercial in Canada that shows a beautiful, self-assured young lady metamorphosis after using "drugs" into a shaking, hollow-eyed mess.
According to studies into a United States anti-drugs campaign between 1999 and 2004, advertisements showing the undesirable effects of substance abuse can frequently urge younger people who are marginalised to experiment with substances.
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.
An early online advertisement told people that cocaine made you feel on of the world.
Balancing the message is not always easy to get right. The man in arrears the cocaine advertisement, Matt Powell, then creative director of digital agency Profero, now disbelieves he overvalued the focus span of the ordinary web browser. It is difficult for some to view the ad till the last point where the dangers of drug use were listed. However, Powell claims the objective was to be more open with youngsters regarding substances, in an attempt to form the credibility of the Frank image.
One survey said that 67 percent of young people would call Frank if they needed advice about drugs. In 2011 and 2012, Frank received 225,892 calls and 3,341,777 visits to the website. For him, this shows that the campaign is very successful.
But, we don't have any proofs that people have quit drug consumption because of Frank, just as we don't have such evidence in cases of other media campaigns against drugs.
Substance use in the United Kingdom has decreased by 9% in the ten years since the campaign was introduced, though the pros say a lot of this is because of a decline in the use of cannabis use, probably connected to younger people's changing attitudes towards smoking tobacco.
What Is Frank?
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. It is envisioned to lessen the utilization of both lawful and illicit medications by instructing youngsters as well as teenagers about the potential impacts of medications and liquor. A lot of media campaigns have been put out on both the radio and the internet.