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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  • I think they do work but not for everyone. Many kids are using alcohol and drugs as a vehicle for their rebellion. Others are genuinely curious and just experimenting.

    I’m only 30 years old but remember the ads of my youth being cheesy. I didn’t say realistic, I said cheesy. Rememember, “This is your brain. This is your brain ON Drugs.”? It was based in reality but had a twist of corny.

    Youth are looking for authenticity. These pictures will be fodder for many jokes but some will also become etched in kids minds and become a factor when decisions are being made. The sad truth is that nothing will ever stop kids from drinking too much. Many kids just have to walk it out themselves……I did.

    Jared Lyda