Thinkboxes July 2008 Winner: The Home Offices’ ‘Know your limits’ by VCCP

Binge drinking is a major issue in the UK among young people, who are now drinking twice as much as they were in 1990. The Home Office confronted this trend head-on with a brief that aimed to reduce levels of binge drinking in the 18- to 24-year-old age group.

The ad’s strategy is to make the audience consider their behaviour on a night out by posing the question, ‘Would you do this if you were sober?’ 

As part of a multimedia campaign, two TV ads were created, one aimed at men, and one at women. 

The former features a young man getting ready for a night out. In the process, he rips his clothes, pours takeaway food down himself and slams his head on a wardrobe door. Lina Nisbet, strategic communications adviser at the Home Office, says the aim was to show how drink can cause some men to become aggressive and violent. 

In the latter ad, a young woman is shown being sick, breaking her shoes and spilling red wine. According to Nisbet, the ad questions why someone would spend so long getting ready only to undo that effort later in the evening. 

‘It is not about telling people not to drink. It is about drinking sensibly and not ending up in major trouble,’ she says. ‘It is less about finger-wagging and more about subtly highlighting the harm that can be done.’ 

The Thinkbox Academy judges made this the winner of the July award, beating off Persil’s ‘Roboboy’ and Irn Bru’s ‘If’ into second and third respectively. 

Creative agency VCCP; Creative team Matt Gilbert, Dave Tokley; Production company Gorgeous; Director Vince Squibb; Media agency Manning Gottlieb OMD

Persil- Robot boy (2nd)

  • Agency BBH 
  • Creative Adrian Rossi and Alex Grieve

Irn Bru- If  (3rd)

  • Agency The Leith Agency

Also shortlisted 

  • Guinness- Taxi/ Astronauts/ Rope Ladder/ Hang On
  • Leonard Cheshire Disability- Love/ Sex
  • MasterCard- School’s Out
  • McDonald’s- Planting
  • Muller- Milk Relay
  • Nokia- Navigation
  • Trident- Mess with your head

Click here to see who won the previous award

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