Do Shock Ads Deter Youth?

I don’t think this plan will work, but I suppose it’s worth a try (from Ananova):

Teenage binge drinkers are being sobered up with beer (coasters) plastered with pictures of young boozers unconscious in puddles of vomit. Millions of the shocking coasters are being distributed to German clubs and pubs to remind youngsters how their night could end.

Germany is facing a teen binge drinking epidemic fuelled by all-you-can-drink parties where youngsters pay an entry fee and then drink until they drop. One coaster has a picture of a teenage boy, dancing at a party and showing off his muscles to the girls then on the flip side he is passed out after wetting himself.

Another beermat shows a girl laughing with friends while the reverse shows her passed out on a picnic table in her underwear. And one shows football fans enjoying a match on one side, but a fan asleep and covered in his own vomit on the reverse.

(The ad pictured above is from a similar campaign in Australia.)

Do shocking ads targeting youth work at all?
I recently viewed some responsible driving and anti-marijuana ads here in the US that were also shocking, if not terribly graphic. Now that I’m older, I think they’re perfectly legitimate, and that teens should be warned about the potential dangers associated with their actions. But as a teenager, I remember thinking those ads idiotic. In fact, I figured they were scare tactics by adults to get me to stop having fun.

The ads clearly comfort adults, but do they work on teens? What do you think?

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Written by Drea Knufken

Drea Knufken

Currently, I create and execute content- and PR strategies for clients, including thought leadership and messaging. I also ghostwrite and produce press releases, white papers, case studies and other collateral.