In 2010 we began working on a project that would start to raise awareness and move conversation within the youth population , connecting risky drinking behaviours and the injuries and injury-related deaths that can result. We assembled an advisory group of interested individuals, some that worked in the area of alcohol and some that did not. We engaged a marketing company, Trampoline Branding, to provide the professional expertise. After learning from the research what approaches work best for engaging youth, and then focus-testing some creative options with youth, the No Magic Goat message was born.
What is the No Magic Goat message?
Basically the message is that "drinking hurts" and that risky drinking behaviours can create situations that no one can or will rescue you from. As the message is focused on youth it is created within the bizarre concept of a goat that presumably "can" rescue you from your bad drinking behaviours. (You really need to watch it to get the flavour of it, and remember that if you are an adult it is not really meant to appeal to you. The age of first drink in this province is 12-13 years of age, and the demographic of 14-18 is our prime target for the campaign.)
In spring of 2011 the No Magic Goat campaign was launched to the public. A video was created, and uploaded on Youtube. Through our website www.nomagicgoat.ca the video was accessible, and a link was created to a facebook page where The Goat could post her thoughts. The video was shown at Empire Theatre locations, aligning well with the upcoming 2011 graduations, and was shown through Public Service Announcements on CTV. Decals and posters supported the message and No Goat's Gonna Save My Ass pins were a popular conversation starter for people that worked with youth.
The second year of the campaign, 2011-12, focused us more on increasing capacity to engage community partners throughout the province with the No Magic Goat message. We learned to use social media to a larger extent through Facebook and Twitter, and created workbooks for those people who work with youth to use, making the No Magic Goat message part of broader learning opportunity. The second year also focused us on broadening the message of alcohol and its harms. It is not only youth that binge drink in this province, and we know we need to be a part of engaging communities across the province to address the impact that risky drinking patterns are having on them.
This campaign has been but a small piece of work, articulating a small message of awareness into an environment that is soaked with the conflicting messaging of the alcohol industry, promoting excess. But it has been a piece of work that engages passionate people and creates linkages for future work that have already been initiated and will continue to grow.
And herein lies the power for positive change.