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?
A police Swat team in the UK burst into a kitchen of a quiet suburban home, and the results were a complete turnaround of the way drug education was done for good. The doom and gloom teachings coupled with pushing to keep away from the drug pushers who are everywhere was thrown out. A lighter, more humorous approach was used instead.
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. The message was new as well: "Drugs are illicit. Discussing them isn't. So Talk to Frank."
Frank: Friendly Confidential Drug Advice
Devised by the advertising agency, Mother, Frank was actually the National Drugs Helpline brand new name. It was supposed to be the symbol of a reliable older brother that younger individuals can go to for guidance regarding illegal 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 the creative director, Justin Tindall, of the advertising agency, Leo Burnett, it was important that Frank was at no time seen in the flesh so that he could never be the victim of ridicule for wearing the incorrect shoes or attempting to be "down with the kids". Many people have high regard for the YouTube spoof videos of Frank too. 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.
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. There are still images of prison cells and hurt parents being presented in countries that have strong penalties for drugs possession. You play, you pay. is the ad used to warn young people going for night clubbing in Singapore.
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. One ad shows a group of "stoners" sitting on a sofa and emphasizes talking to young people in the language of their generation. But the scare tactics is still prevalent in majority of the campaigns against drugs around the globe, especially the "descent into hell" which is drug inspired. 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".
According to studies into a United States anti-drugs campaign between 1999 and 2004, advertisements showing the undesirable effects of substance abuse can frequently urge younger people who are marginalised to experiment with substances.
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 wasn't at all times simple to balance the message correctly. 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. Some might not have adhered around to the finish of the liveliness to get some answers concerning the negative impacts. 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.
According to the Home Office, up to 67% of teenagers preferred to talk to Frank if drug advice becomes necessary. 225,892 calls were made to the Frank helpline and 3,341,777 visits to the site in 2011/12. The argument is that this is proof that the approach is working.
Yet, similar to each other anti-drugs media battle on the planet, there is no proof Frank has ceased individuals consuming 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.
What Is Frank?
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.