Reducing excessive alcohol consumption in adults who drink.

CDC: Drink Less be Your Best Campaign

Challenge

Excessive alcohol consumption is common in American adults, contributing to both immediate and long-term health risks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) teamed up with Hager Sharp to develop and implement a communications campaign to encourage adults to consider drinking less alcohol. The campaign focused on changing audiences’ motivations to ultimately drive a change in behavior: to reduce excessive alcohol consumption.

Solution

Hager Sharp employed a mix of ad platforms, formats, and targeting parameters to increase the likelihood of messages being seen by the targeted audience segments. These audience segments included three types of drinkers identified through formative research. We developed 12 ad concepts based on the top reasons reported for drinking less, such as avoiding embarrassment and regret, saving money, avoiding weight gain and long-term health problems, preserving relationships, and avoiding legal trouble.

Results

The campaign created more than 25 million impressions in its initial flights and was selected as a finalist for the 2023 PR Daily Nonprofit Communications Awards.

The first—and most important—creative element developed for the campaign was the tagline: Drink Less, Be Your Best.

Hager Sharp created simple, elegant ads using only type, no photos or illustrations. Just copy that emphasized the adverse effects of alcohol. The all-type creative approach allowed us to start a dialog in our audiences’ heads. It also made it easy for people to connect with the ads and see the messages as relevant to their own lives.

By using a mix of ad platforms and targeting parameters, Hager Sharp maximized the likelihood of messages being seen by target audiences.