Talk To Frank is an anti-drugs campaign in the United Kingdom that has been running for the longest time. But has it actually worked and stopped drug use?
Drug education in the UK was changed forever ten years ago when a Swat team raided a quiet suburban kitchen. The doom and gloom teachings coupled with pushing to keep away from the drug pushers who are everywhere was thrown out. A sort of comedy was also brought into the message in the bid to pass it appropriately.
In the first ad, a mother suggests to her teenage son that they have a chat about drugs so he calls the police snatch squad. The message delivered by the advert had not been heard before either: "Drugs are illegal. Talking about them isn't. So, Talk to Frank."
Frank: A Pleasant Private Drug Counsel
One can actually say that Frank which was a brain child of "Mother" ad firm became the new National Drugs Helpline The idea was to build a reliable "older brother" image that could provide advice to teenagers about banned substances. The quests of Pablo, the dog that's used as a substance mule, to a tour around a brain warehouse have been put forward under the Frank name, making it a well-known trade name amongst the youth of the nation.
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. Even the sham Frank videos on YouTube are moderately deferential. There is additionally no sign that Frank is a specialist of the services, something that makes it uncommon in the annals of government-supported movements.
Education about drug has come a long way since Nancy Reagan and the UK cast of Grange Hill told kids to "Just Say No," which a lot of people not believe was completely counterproductive.
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 some places where there are still tough penalties for possession, ads showing prison bars or disappointed parents are still the norm. You play, you pay. is the ad used to warn young people going for night clubbing in Singapore.
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 stress is on chatting to youngsters by using their language - one advertisement depicts a group of "stoners" forsaken on a couch. But the drug fuelled descent into hell and scare tactics are still used by a surprisingly large number of campaigns around the world. One typical example was a part of the Canadian DrugsNot4Me program showed an attractive, confident young woman then into a wasting, hollow eyes shadow at the hand of drugs.
A study carried out in the UK on anti-drugs campaign that ran between 1999 and 2004 shows that adverts that portray the negative results of drug use influence vulnerable youth to try out with the drugs.
Frank made brand new ground - and received a lot of criticism from the conservative opposition politicians at that time - for being brave enough to put forward that substances might provide highs and lows.
One primary online promotion educated viewers: "Cocaine makes you feel high and in charge."
It was not generally simple to get the balance of the message accurate. 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. A few people might have stayed around for the animation's end to discover more regarding the undesirable effects. However, Powell says the point was to be more legitimate with youngsters about medications, keeping in mind the end goal to build up the believability of the Frank brand.
A 67% of the youth say they would ask Frank for advice related to drugs according to the Home Office. 225,892 calls were made to the Frank helpline and 3,341,777 visits to the site in 2011/12. For him, this shows that the campaign is very successful.
Yet, similar to each other anti-drugs media battle on the planet, there is no proof Frank has ceased individuals consuming drugs.
More than 9% drop has been witnessed in the country since the campaign came into place, but a drop in the use of cannabis has been given as an explanation for this, probably because teenagers are changing their approach towards tobacco smoking.
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. 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. A lot of media campaigns have been put out on both the radio and the internet.