With summer fast approaching, Drug Aware tasked 303 MullenLowe Perth with developing a new campaign that would educate West Australian festival and event goers about the potential harms of MDMA use and encourage Aussies to take action and reduce their risk.
Says John Linton, head of planning at 303 MullenLowe: “When it comes to drug use, knowledge is power. The problem we uncovered was that much of the public discussion and media commentary around MDMA, painted unknown contaminants as the major threat, which dangerously underplayed the real harm that the MDMA itself can cause. What’s more, this was leading event goers to seek out purer MDMA options in the mistaken belief they were a safer option.”
Says Richard Berney, executive creative director at 303 MullenLowe: “We didn’t necessarily want to shut the party down – we just wanted festival-goers to ‘party smarter’. The campaign itself was drug education with a difference.
“It’s estimated that around two-thirds of attendees at summer festivals use MDMA. Instead of simply saying ‘NO’ – we encouraged young people to ‘Party Smarter.”
To tackle the brief and engage a likely dismissive audience, 303 MullenLowe worked with Siamese to create a short whirlwind animation that pulls viewers through the potential harms of MDMA use – such as heat stroke, internal drowning and serotonin toxicity – in an unexpected and memorable way.
Says Hannah Samsa, manager, public education and health promotion at Mental Health Commission: “We know that the potential harms of drug use – including MDMA -are a result of an interaction between the person, drug and environment. Unfortunately the festival and nightclub environment increases the risk of harm as a result of using MDMA. We want people to have the knowledge of what the risks are, but also evidence-informed strategies about what they can do to reduce those risks. We also work with event organisers to make sure those environments are also conducive to reducing harm.”
‘Party Smarter’ – which launched in time for Leavers week – is supported by a targeted digital campaign including online video, social media and audio; as well as tactical OOH at festival and event venues.
Cancer Council Western Australia
Program Manager: Julia Stafford
Policy and Research Coordinator: Danica Keric
Mental Health Commission
Manager, Public Education and Health Promotion: Hannah Samsa
Senior Project Officer, Public Education and Health Promotion: Sharnae Zanotti
Agency: 303 MullenLowe Perth:
Executive Creative Director: Richard Berney
Senior Writer: Maya Halilovic
Art Director: Stephen Hansen
Design Lead: Jake Ransom
Head of Planning: John Linton
Business Lead: Krista Song
Producer: Jonathan Julius
Production Company: Siamese
Creative Lead and Designer: Kristen King
Technical Director: Andrew Buckley
Animator: Tim Merks
Producer: Francesca Hope
Music: Ian Berney
Sound: Mike Fragomeni @ Cue Sound
Media Agency: Initiative Perth
Investment Partnerships Manager: Lauren De Rozario
Investment Partnerships Executive: Christine Foster