Converse with Frank is the extensive running anti-drug movement the UK has had. But has it actually worked and stopped drug use?
A decade ago a police SWAT team slammed into a peaceful kitchen somewhere in the suburbs and modified the image of drugs education in the United Kingdom for always. Out went horrid notices of how medications could "mess you up" and sincere appeals to oppose the vile pushers prowling in each play area. In came the quirky funny side and a light-hearted attitude.
The first advert featured a boy calling the police snatch squad on his mother because she wanted to discuss drugs with him. The message delivered by the advert had not been heard before either: "Drugs are illegal. Talking about them isn't. So, Talk to Frank."
Frank: Friendly Confidential Drug Advice
An idea that started with someone's mother, Frank was now the new name of the National Drugs Helpline. It was intended to be a put stock in "elder brother" assumes that youngsters could swing to for advice concerning illegal substances. In the bid to make the Frank label a very popular one among the young people in the country, programs like the tour round a brain house, and Pablo the canine drugs mule were all incorporated.
Significantly, Frank was never found in the flesh, so would never be the objective of joke for wearing the wrong trainers or attempting to be "down with the children," says Justin Tindall, inventive director of ad organization Leo Burnett. Even the sham Frank videos on YouTube are moderately deferential. As there is nothing that remotely suggests Frank is a government project, the campaign is viewed as a first occurrence funded by the 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.
Frank has set the standard, and now most adverts in Europe are using the same format to equip the youth with unbiased facts to help in making their choices. In places that have harsh penalties for being in possession, pictures/photos of prison cells and embarrassed parents remain common. For example, in Singapore, a recent campaign recently told young people, "You play, you pay."
In the UK, the government has burned through millions on Above the Influence, a long-running movement that urges positive contrasting options to drug usage utilizing a blend of amusement and useful examples. 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. One typical example was a part of the Canadian DrugsNot4Me program showed an attractive, confident young woman then into a wasting, hollow eyes shadow at the hand of drugs.
Research that was done on a UK anti-drug campaign between 1999 and 2004 shows that describing the negative effects of abuse will often actually encourage young people "on the margins of society" to use drugs.
By demonstrating how the drugs affect the use, giving the highs and lows, Frank was not supported by the Conservative politicians on the new path it had taken.
An early online advertisement told people that cocaine made you feel on of the world.
Hitting the middle road with an ad to give the right message always proved to be a challenge. Matt Powell was the creative director of digital agency Profero, the company that came up with the cocaine ad; he now thinks he miscalculated the time an average user spends on browsing the internet. The negative effects were given at the end of the animated ad and some viewers might not have watched the whole thing. However, Powell claims the objective was to be more open with youngsters regarding substances, in an attempt to form the credibility of the Frank image.
A 67% of the youth say they would ask Frank for advice related to drugs according to the Home Office. Frank helpline received 225,892 phone calls and 3,341,777 hits on the website in the period 2011-2012. These figures provide proof that the Frank approach bears results.
But, we don't have any proofs that people have quit drug consumption because of Frank, just as we don't have such evidence in cases of other media campaigns against drugs.
Substance use in the United Kingdom has decreased by 9% in the ten years since the campaign was introduced, though the pros say a lot of this is because of a decline in the use of cannabis use, probably connected to younger people's changing attitudes towards smoking tobacco.
Frank - What Is It?
FRANK is a state drug education services together settled by the by the Department of Health and Home Office of the British government in 2003. It's supposed to reduce the use of illegal and legal substances by teaching teens about the possible effects of alcohol and drugs. A lot of media campaigns have been put out on both the radio and the internet.