A new kind of campaign to curb underage drinking

Columbus - The Ohio Department of Commerce is launching a new kind of media campaign, with the goal of reducing both underage drinking  and binge-drinking.

The Liquor Control Division campaign is called Redefine, and it's billed as a social awareness campaign that de-emphasizes the role of alcohol "in compelling and memorable" experiences.

The campaign will use creative messaging and visuals to get people thinking differently.

One of the goals of the campaign is to challenge common beliefs about the relationship between alcohol and fun, emphasizing that "a full and exciting life does not have to involve drinking or drinking in excess".

Liquor control division leaders point to statistics showing that nearly 20 per cent of Ohio adults have engaged in binge drinking in the past 30 days.

Binge drinking also accounts for 90 per cent of underage alcohol consumption, with the average Ohio high school student taking his or her first drink at age 13.

Redefine will stay away from so-called "scare tactic" approaches, which have been found to be ineffective.

"The Redefine campaign will incorporate positive and engaging visual content to promote a lifestyle centered around authenticity, passion and living in the moment. The campaign will utilize inspirational images that encourage “living life to the fullest” and “living your best life” while also demonstrating responsibility."

Materials will be distributed to schools, colleges, state of Ohio agencies, retailers and distributors and the media.

Redefine launched a new website, RedefineOhio.org, as a resource for parents, teachers and others to help prevent underage use and abuse of alcohol.

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