Talk To Frank is an anti-drugs campaign in the United Kingdom that has been running for the longest time. But, have people quit drug abuse through this?
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. Out went horrid notices of how medications could "mess you up" and sincere appeals to oppose the vile pushers prowling in each play area. Instead, wit and fun including games were embraced.
In the main advertisement, an adolescent kid brings in a police grab squad to capture his mom when she recommends they have a tranquil chat about medications. There was also a new message: Drugs are illegal. Talking about the isn't. So talk to Frank."
Thought up by promotion organization Mother, Frank was, indeed, the new name for the National Drugs Helpline. The idea was to build a reliable "older brother" image that could provide advice to teenagers about banned substances. 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.
The agency behind Frank has said that it was crucial that Frank was never actually seen so he could never be the target of ridicule for wearing the wrong thing or trying to be cool. Parody videos on YouTube have not been able to disrespect Frank either. Also, there's no sign that Frank is a government agent - something that is rare in the history of campaigns paid for by government.
Teaching people about drugs is now approached in a different way, not like the days of Nancy Reagan in the UK and the cast of Grange Hill in the UK, who told us to "Just Say No" to drugs; it is evident this did not work.
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 a campaign that was launched in Singapore recently.
In the United States of America, the federal government has spent millions of dollars on a long-running campaign, Above the Influence, that sells positive possibilities to using substances by making use of a combination of funny and cautionary stories. The focus of the campaign is to talk to the youth in a language they understand, like the one ad showing a group of "stoners" stranded on a coach. 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." A good example is a Canadian commercial that appeared recently and formed part of the DrugsNot4Me series in which a beautiful, self-assured young woman changes into a trembling, hollow-eyed skeleton because 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.
"Cocaine makes you feel on top of the world" was used in one of the early internet ad campaigns.
Understanding the true information behind the message was very difficult. The man in arrears the cocaine advertisement, Matt Powell, then creative director of digital agency Profero, now disbelieves he overvalued the focus span of the ordinary web browser. A few people might have stayed around for the animation's end to discover more regarding the undesirable effects. However, the goal of the ad was to be upfront with young people about the effects of drugs so that Frank could establish some accountability.
The Home Office says 67% of youngsters in a study said they would swing to Frank in the event that they required drug guidance. 225,892 calls were made to the Frank helpline and 3,341,777 visits to the site in 2011/12. It is evidence that the method is effective.
Though the response is good, it is no evidence that Frank just like other available anti-drug campaigns has discouraged people from indulging in drugs.
In the years since the campaign started, drug use in the UK is down by 9%; however, experts say this might be because marijuana use has declined, most like due to changing attitudes toward smoking tobacco.
FRANK is a nationwide drug education programme designed and run by the British government's Department of Health in collaboration with the Home Office in 2003. It's main aim is to inform young people about the dangers of alcohol and drugs, so as to bring down the rate of consumption of both legal and illegal drugs. It has run numerous media promotions on radio and the web.
FRANK has the following resources for anyone looking for information about drugs: