COUNTRY: UNITED STATES
Implementer: Montana Department of Transportation
Partners: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Program Overview: This social norms media marketing campaign aims to correct normative misperceptions and reduce the prevalence of drinking and driving among 21-to-34-year olds.
Program Design: The social norms media campaign was comprised of television, radio, print, and theater ads, in addition to posters and promotional gifts. The advertisements consistently emphasized positive behavior and avoided negative and/or fear-based messages. For example: “Most Montana Young Adults [4 out of 5] Don’t Drink and Drive”.
Evaluation: A quasi-experimental design was used to evaluate the program, such that regions of Montana were assigned to one of three experimental groups: social norms media marketing campaign, buffer, and control. Because radio and television messages could not be completely contained in intervention counties, counties in the buffer region were used to adjust for diffusion of social norms media messages outside the intervention counties.
Four random samples were assessed at four time points over 18 months via phone surveys. Measures included social norms media message exposure, perceived normative behavior, and personal attitudes and behavior.
Key findings: The social norms media campaign was successful at exposing the targeted population to social norms messages in the counties within the intervention region. It was effective at reducing high-risk drinking and driving behavior and at increasing use of protective behaviors (e.g. designated drivers).
-Results suggest that the campaign reduced misperceptions of those in the intervention counties relative to those in the control counties regarding peer drinking and driving behavior.
-The percentage of young adults in the intervention counties who reported driving within an hour of consuming two or more drinks in the previous month decreased following the social norms campaign.
-The percentage of individuals in the intervention counties who report they always used a designated driver if they planned to drink increased following the campaign, whereas the percentage in the control counties decreased.
-Results demonstrate that individuals in the intervention counties increased their support for changing the BAC legal limit for driving to .08, which is a significant difference compared to the decrease in support seen in the control counties.
Program Website: http://chsculture.org/mou_projects/most-of-us-prevent-drinking-and-driving-campaign-2000-2003/
Perkins, H.W., Linkenbach, J.W., Lewis, M.A., & Neighbors, C. (2010). Effectiveness of social norms media marketing in reducing drinking and driving: a statewide campaign. Addictive Behaviors, 35(10), 866-874.
Target Audience: Adults of legal drinking age
Issues: Drinking and Driving
Setting: Local government/ law enforcement departments, Media (including social media)
Approach: Social Norms