Instead of a longer form video, Kansas chose to create two public
service announcements (PSAs). Why did you choose this approach?
We used part of our Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant funding
to implement a media campaign in 2008, and we decided to use the state video opportunity
to build upon our existing efforts. The two PSAs supplement our other media efforts
to support the campaign.
The campaign is “Teen Thinking—Encourage your kids to think…not drink.” It initially
launched with the focus of encouraging adults to talk to youth about making smart
decisions and about the consequences of underage drinking. We produced radio spots,
a television spot, billboards, print ads, and many collateral materials such as
stuffers for bills, yard signs, banners, and popcorn bags. In more recent years,
we have expanded the messages to include consequences with social hosting and buying
products for minors. More information can be found at http://www.teenthinking.org.
You created two PSAs—a 60-second spot that features teens talking
about their parents’ role in their decision not to drink and a 30-second spot that
shows what teens might decide when parental oversight is lacking. Who is your target
audience, and why did you choose this audience?
Our plan was co-created by a workgroup of prevention providers, coalition members,
state staff, and our media campaign advertising agency. The group felt that we needed
to focus on parents and emphasize the role that they play in influencing their teens’
decisions about alcohol use. The 60-second spot was designed to be more positive,
while the 30-second spot was designed to demonstrate to parents why it is important
to be active and ask questions.
What, for you, was the most interesting or satisfying aspect of
participating in this project?
I think the most rewarding part of this project was engaging the volunteers to be
a part of the project. We had a diverse group of students from several school districts
in Shawnee County, Topeka. We are very grateful for the support provided by the
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)—the videos will
be incorporated into our larger media campaign efforts. It is especially nice to
have the videos because the funding available for future media campaign development
is less than we had previously. The director and videographer were really patient
and wonderful to work with.
“Professional actors can be very expensive, while people without
any acting experience may require some coaching in order to be effective on camera.
When recruiting people to appear in a scripted dramatization, consider reaching
out to local drama clubs—either in schools or communities—to find individuals who
may be happy to volunteer. The experience can help bolster their resumes but, more
important, will mean that they are comfortable performing for an audience.”
—State/Territory Videos Project Coordinator
For a video aimed specifically at a Native American audience, SAMHSA’s Native American
Center for Excellence (NACE) wanted to feature interviews with Native youths representing
the diversity of Indian country. With tribes spread all throughout the country,
the question was how to shoot this footage on a modest budget.
NACE identified a Native youth conference in Portland, OR, held in June 2012. The
conference comprised primarily Native youths from the Pacific Northwest, but teens
from the Midwest, Upper Midwest, Alaska, and even Canada not only participated in
the conference but also appeared in the video. You can watch it here.
Here are some ways states/territories
are getting the message out:
Maine is disseminating its video electronically to prevention professionals and
educators in hopes that many screenings will take place throughout the state. In
particular, the state is encouraging screening opportunities during Alcohol Awareness
Month. In addition to the video, the state created a discussion guide that accompanies
the video in efforts to help facilitate conversation with students. A high-quality
version of the video along with the discussion guide can be downloaded via the following
Box Office Returns
No, this isn’t Hollywood, you aren’t selling tickets, and no one is expecting to
make a profit from your SAMHSA-supported video. But SAMHSA does need to know that
it is contributing to state, territorial, and local efforts to prevent underage
drinking. Some National Prevention Network members have responded to
George Marcelle’s e-mail requests for information about how videos have
been or are being disseminated. Watch for links to a special one-time-only SurveyMonkey
feedback request to provide SAMHSA with a more detailed picture of this project’s