I’m no expert, but I’ve seen a number of drinking-awareness campaigns in my day, and they’ve all focused on binging’s extreme consequences: DUI fatalities, alcoholism and pregnancy, to name just a few.
The one going around campus at the University of Minnesota right now seems different, perhaps because it’s the work of students.
Instead of stressing the extreme themes — remote possibilities to those suffering from delusions of invulnerability — it focuses on the more common consequence of drinking too much: the humiliating realization that everyone thinks you’re lame.
In short, the message seems to be: Don’t Be That Idiot.
“Students actually place a lot of value on their reputation,” said graduate student Michelle Gross, who worked on the original campaign last year and is now acting as co-adviser.
“The Other Hangover” campaign should already be hitting dorms, bus stops, campus and neighborhood sidewalks, local bars — even bathroom mirrors in dorms and stadium restrooms.
It was created by U of M advertising students for the 2009 National Student Advertising Competition, and ended up getting $75,000 from the Century Council, a nonprofit organization set up by alcohol distillers.
Gross said the signs will stay up through November. She and other campaign students have planned to evaluate its effectiveness by conducting before-and-after surveys of student attitudes toward drinking.