The longest running anti-drug campaign in the UK is Talk to Frank. Yet, has it halted anybody taking drugs?
Ten years prior a police Swat group collided with a calm suburban kitchen and transformed the substance of medication education in the UK until the end of time. The doom and gloom teachings coupled with pushing to keep away from the drug pushers who are everywhere was thrown out. In came strange humour and a light, yet energetic approach.
In the first advertisement a teenager phoned a police team to detain his mother when she proposed that they had a peaceful discussion regarding drugs. But the new information being passed is: "Drugs are illegal. Talking about them isn't. So, Talk to Frank."
Frank: Friendly Confidential Drug Advice
An idea that started with someone's mother, Frank was now the new name of the National Drugs Helpline. 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.
According to Justin Tindall, creative director of Leo Burnett ad agency, the most important thing is that no one could accuse frank of trying to be "down with the kids," or coming out with the wrong attire. Many people have high regard for the YouTube spoof videos of Frank too. Also, there's no sign that Frank is a government agent - something that is rare in the history of campaigns paid for by government.
Right from the days of Nancy Reagan, a lot has been done about drugs education, and the Grange Hill cast which a lot of people opine that it did more harm than good, simply encouraged people to "Just Say No" to drugs.
The majority of the advertisements in Europe currently concentrate, like Frank, on attempting to share objective info to assist youngsters to make their own choices. In some places where there are still tough penalties for possession, ads showing prison bars or disappointed parents are still the norm. For example, in Singapore, a recent campaign recently told young people, "You play, you pay."
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. In the ad, teenagers are communicated to in a manner they are familiar with, like some "stoners" being marooned on a couch. However, an amazing number of anti-drug battles far and wide still fall back on terrify strategies and specifically, the drug driven "fall into hell." 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.
Research that was done on a UK anti-drug campaign between 1999 and 2004 shows that describing the negative effects of abuse will often actually encourage young people "on the margins of society" to use drugs.
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.
Cocaine makes you feel on top of the world was one of its preliminary ads online.
Hitting the middle road with an ad to give the right message always proved to be a challenge. According to the then creative director of digital agency Profero, Matt Powell, who designed the ad, he was wrong in believing that a normal web user has an adequate attention span. There will be many who could not have seen the adverse effects of the drugs at the end of the animation. The idea behind the ad according to Powell is to make the Frank brand a more honest one by being sincere to teenagers about drugs.
The Home Office says 67% of youngsters in a study said they would swing to Frank in the event that they required drug guidance. Frank helpline received 225,892 phone calls and 3,341,777 hits on the website in the period 2011-2012. It's confirmed, it contends, that the method works.
However, just like every other anti-drugs campaign in the world , there's no evidence that Frank has actually stopped people from taking drugs.
Drug usage in the UK has gone around 9% in the decade since the conflict propelled, yet specialists say quite a bit of this is down to a decrease in cannabis utilization, potentially connected to changing states of mind towards smoking tobacco among youngsters.
What Is Frank?
FRANK is a national service that offers drug education and was formed in 2003 by the Department of Health in partnership with Home Office of the British government. FRANK's vision is to equip the youth with the bold facts and knowledge about the legal and illegal use of narcotics to reduce the drug use. Several media campaigns on the web and on radio have been put out by this programme.