Behaviour change + Content & creative + PR & communications for Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education

Reduce your risk

Raising awareness to reduce the risk of alcohol

Rebooting an iconic campaign to improve health outcomes

While the link between alcohol and cancer is well established, less than half (44%) of adults living in the ACT are aware of the health risk. Icon Agency was engaged by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) to change this. Backed by ACT Health, the campaign aimed to promote important new guidelines from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and encourage people to speak to their GP about the risks of alcohol-related cancers. Using Western Australia’s iconic ‘Spread Campaign’ as a foundational TVC, Icon designed an integrated behaviour change campaign with revised video, radio, social and collateral.

alcohol and cancer

No safe level of consumption

Alcohol is responsible for around 3,500 of all new cancer cases in Australia each year. It’s a Group 1 carcinogen – the same classification held by tobacco smoke and asbestos. Research has consistently shown there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, and the risk of alcohol-related cancers increases with the amount you drink. Yet despite this compelling evidence, there remains a lack of awareness of the link between alcohol consumption and cancer. FARE sought to change this and spread an important message to people in the ACT and across Australia – the less you drink the healthier you are.

hand phone

Finding a message that’s more compelling than fear

By nature, alcohol is a difficult topic to broach. It’s a popular substance, so messages about the risks can sometimes be poorly received. Conversations about these risks tend to happen behind closed doors. As part of the campaign, Icon had access to WA’s highly effective ‘Spread’ campaign. ‘Spread’ used fear to motivate individuals to reduce their alcohol consumption. While this was undoubtedly compelling, it didn’t quite fit Icon’s brief from FARE. Icon needed to spread awareness of the risks, but also promote positive solutions. Only by doing this would we be able to influence behaviours and attitudes.

Pot of beer and cancer image

Changing behaviour with positive solutions

Leveraging the already successful foundational TVC of Western Australia’s iconic ‘Spread Campaign’, Icon developed a fully integrated campaign that included revised video assets, new radio, outdoor, social, collateral, GP engagement, government and media relations. “Reduce the risk” became the new campaign line and Icon created a new microsite as a destination for GPs and local people to be more informed.

It encourages people who are aware of this relationship to share information with those who aren’t. Sharing information with someone you care for is a positive motivation for performing a behaviour that has a clear emotional connection.

The sophisticated, integrated campaign speaks to two core audiences, Canberrans and GPs, encouraging them to learn more about the guidelines and start conversations about the link between alcohol and cancer.

Campaign collateral included:

  • Social media tiles

  • Spotify banner

  • Youtube banner

  • Stakeholder toolkit

  • Digital marketing

  • Posters

Successful launch, early wins

The comprehensive eight-week broadcast media campaign launched on TV, OOH, Radio, VOD and social, along with a few other specialist digital channels like mobile video and digital audio to ensure reach and frequency.

Icon successfully secured comment from the ACT Health Minister, landing an exclusive in the Canberra Times, a package on WIN news and coverage in local Canberra news outlets.

Icon has already been able to reach a broad audience of Canberrans aged 22-60. A paid community channel strategy ensured the campaign not only reached these fragmented audiences, but cut through with specific targeted messages.


  • 1,500,000 ad impressions (all channels)

  • 561,600 video completions

  • 14% CTR on high impact mobile programmatic

  • 104,800 audio completions

  • 28,900 website page views

  • 80% of GP clinics in Canberra reached

  • 159,500 minimum unique social reach

  • 1,930 views of the Guidelines


  • Film production

  • PR

  • Media planning and buying

  • Media engagement and management

  • Creative direction

  • Stakeholder engagement

  • Social media management

  • Digital marketing

Reduce Your Risk Campaign Video
golden target awards

PRIA Golden Target Awards

SILVER Regional Communications Campaign

Nomination Health Campaign