Recently the University of New Hampshire (UNH) began a new responsible drinking social media campaign, “Think Smart. Drink Safe.” Adam Gaudreault, a UNH graduate student in justice studies, has been interning at the Portsmouth Police Department and worked with them to develop an innovative way to reach students. This is a perfect example innovative thinking and new technology being applied to an age old issue.
QR Code Technology to Convey Responsible Drinking Messages
The campaign is pretty simple as it only contains two parts. 1. Coasters with QR Codes printed on them and 2. A website that provides tips on responsible drinking. These coasters will be placed at the local watering holes (bars), so that as students are drinking they will be resting their beverage on these coasters. The idea is that the students will be intrigued by the QR Code and scan it, which will then take them to the website with responsible drinking tips. This will help keep the positive messages top of mind while the students are actually consuming the alcohol.
Adapting to the Times of New Communications
This campaign is the first of its kind, but far overdue. Students have been hearing the same standard messages about drinking responsibly for the majority of their lives, which is why these messages may be falling on deaf ears. This is why other standard communication channels like posters, drug and alcohol speakers, and other forms of communication, need to be more dynamic to successfully engage students. This campaign shows that people need to continue to think more creatively on how to convey any number of important messages to students. It’s a perfect example of how to utilize modern technology (QR Codes are relatively new) to engage students and communicate with them in not only new ways, but in the fresh new ways they want.
Will It Get Results?
Although I love the innovation of this campaign, I’m very interested to see what the response rate on this campaign will be. Will people actually scan the QR Code? Would You?