The cleverly-placed floor images are accompanied by a poster, showing hundreds of facebook ‘likes’ next to the vinyl images, reminding students that an embarrassing night out can live on forever thanks to social media: “What happens here doesn’t stay here. Pace yourself,” reads the poster.
“We first launched these floor vinyls in 2010 as part of a broader student campaign,” said drinkaware.ie Chief Executive Fionnuala Sheehan, “The response we got from students on the effectiveness of this initiative was very positive, with many students saying that it made them stop and think about their drinking.
“On a night out, students will invariably pay a visit to the bathroom. It is here, away from the party atmosphere, that you often start to really notice the effects of alcohol. The floor vinyls are a reminder to students that this could be how their night will end if they don’t pace themselves. The inclusion of ‘likes’ in the accompanying poster is another reminder that with the increasing popularity of social media, images such as these don’t get left in the bathroom.”
The floor vinyls have already been rolled out in both Dublin City University and Waterford Institute of Technology and the campaign is also targeting students in the University of Limerick and Athlone Institute of Technology.
Fionnuala Sheehan noted that there have been some positive changes in Ireland’s drinking behaviours.
“Ireland’s average adult alcohol consumption has reduced by 19 per cent since 2001 and approached the mid-ranked OECD countries’ level in 2011. Recent research carried out by Millward Brown Landsdowne in January 2012 also shows a positive change in the drinking behavior of 18-29 year-olds with four in 10 respondents claiming to have drunk less over the past year. 59 per cent of male and 61 per cent of female respondents in the 18-29 age group also agreed with the statement, “I think about the pace of my drinking more than I used to”, compared with 53 per cent of respondents in the general population.
“This is good news and we want to build on these results. While we drink less frequently than our European counterparts we drink more on a drinking occasion. Slowing down and pacing yourself, having food and water between drinks, for example – allows you to enjoy the night’s events for longer and to wake up feeling refreshed and hydrated the next day.”
The floor vinyls are one element of a larger student campaign delivered by drinkaware.ie on campuses throughout Ireland. The campaign includes: The Student Survival Guide; The Top 10 Booze Myths Challenge which encourages students to reject some of the popular booze myths that support irresponsible drinking behavior; the annual DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie film and multimedia competition through which students explore the relationship between alcohol and young people in Ireland and a national washroom poster campaign delivering responsible drinking messages throughout the year.