Young Men's Response to Alcohol Moderation Messages

Men's Response to Alcohol Moderation Messages

Western governments often use fear tactics and threatening information in harm minimization messages to promote anti-drinking. However, this is problematic as negative appeals using fear and threats can result in avoidance, self-protection and inaction rather than an active response.

With the goal of extending insights into social marketing approaches that promote safer drinking cultures in Australia, this research examined the influence of harm minimization messaging on binge-drinking behaviour; in particular the influence of positive and negative emotions when individuals process alcohol moderation communication messages.

By applying the Model of Goal Directed Behaviour, we discuss survey results from a sample of alcohol consumers (n=230). Findings demonstrate that positively framed value propositions that evoke happiness and love are more influential in the processing of an alcohol moderation message for alcohol consumers.

Research insight into the stronger influence of positive emotions on processing an alcohol moderation message establishes an important avenue for future social marketing communications that moves beyond negative, avoidance appeals to promote behaviour change in drinkers.


Guiding Theory:

  • Model of Goal Directed Behaviour


  • Previte, Josephine, Russell-Bennett, Rebekah, Parkinson, Joy (2015) Shaping safe drinking cultures : evoking positive emotion to promote moderate-drinking behaviour International Journal of Consumer Studies, 39 (1), pp.12-24.