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Recognizing red flags of alcohol

Ask: Develop a campaign that educates and raises awareness of the early signs of alcohol use disorder (AUD) and promotes lifestyle changes. 

Problem: Many people aren't aware they have alcohol use disorder until they are in the later stages of AUD, making it much more difficult to recover. 

My Role:
Team lead

Project management

Strategic development


Social listening

Deck narrative 


Jordan Bryant (Strategist)

Jaclyn Delso (Art Director)

Miles Hanson (Copywriter)

Jamie Ikley (Experience Designer)

Cameron Sharer (Copywriter)

Solution: "Rethink Your Relationship with Alcohol," a campaign in partnership with non-profit Moderation Management, targeting mid-twenties alcohol enthusiasts unaware of the signs of AUD and their drinking habits. 


Approximately 15 million Americans over the age of 12 suffer from alcohol use disorder (AUD), a medical condition that makes it difficult to control or stop alcohol consumption. With that, about 93,000 people in the U.S. die each year from alcohol-related causes. (National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism, 2022) 

That's one person every 6 minutes.


AUD is a disease of brain function that many people often think won't and could never affect them.

How can we capture the interest of an alcohol-loving society to reconsider and reflect on their drinking habits?


The Glorified Culture of Alcohol

In American culture, alcohol is often portrayed positively, often as a tool to convey social status, celebrate special occasions, manage emotions, and more. This can be seen throughout society and pop culture, such as holidays, parties, music, television, movies, and even through the convenience of alcohol delivery apps. 

However, this societal glorification of alcohol has resulted in a widespread issue of alcohol use disorders, affecting people as young as 12 years old across the nation, a true epidemic. 

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Alcohol Use Disorder Doesn't Discriminate

Although these causes and stages are commonly associated with alcohol use disorder, the presentation of this disease can vary greatly from person to person. It may progress at different rates and follow linear or non-linear patterns.

Potential Causes 

  • Genetics & family history

  • Traumatic early childhood events

  • Mental health 

  • Drinking and binge drinking at an early age

The Stages of Alcohol Use Disorder


Formative stage


Occurs before alcohol is an apparent problem


May enjoy drinking more frequently


Beginning to rely on alcohol for various occasions


Regularly binge drinking


Drinking to the point of blacking out


Difficulty controlling amount of alcohol


May not be drinking every day or every weekend


Condition may be evident


Drinking may affect work, school, family, and friends


Regularly hungover or craving alcohol


Rehab and treatment are recommended at this stage


Alcohol is a priority


May be considered "highly functioning" alcoholic


Negative health conditions may develop


May exacerbate other conditions


Controlled by alcohol


Lost the ability to stop drinking


May develop serious liver diseases


The most serious stage to reach

The "Make or Break" Stage


Regularly binge drinking


Drinking to the point of blacking out


Difficulty controlling amount of alcohol


May not be drinking every day or every weekend

The early stage of alcohol use disorder is crucial, as it presents recognizable traits of AUD while still allowing for lifestyle and behavioral adjustments without the risk of withdrawal symptoms.


However, this stage can be challenging as they may not recognize their habits or actions as problematic since their life has not had any significant impacts.  



There is a chance to prevent the harmful effects of alcohol use disorder and reduce the number of people suffering from AUD by intervening promptly and focusing on people still susceptible to change and in the early stage of AUD.

Target Audience

The Mid-Twenties Alcohol Enthusiast

  • Developed unhealthy drinking habits in college

  • Thrives on social outings involving alcohol and always has a drink in hand

  • Doesn't think their drinking is a problem

  • May be experiencing mild negative consequences or side effects from alcohol consumption 

  • Becoming more mindful of their career, health, and "adulting" 

Relationships, The Most Significant Aspect of Your 20s

At this age, this audience deeply values the relationships in their life as they can have lasting impacts on their future, including relationships with friends, romantic partners, family, colleagues, and even their inner selves. 

They're transparent and comfortable talking about their relationships, especially romantic relationships --

the highs, the lows, the red flags, and the lessons learned. 

But, one relationship they tend to overlook is their relationship with alcohol


Young adults are often unaware of the status of their relationship with alcohol and how harmful it may be. 


Red flags are present in all types of relationships

(not just romantic relationships)


Reveal the hidden similarities between toxic romantic relationships and toxic relationships with alcohol, two unhealthy partnerships that warrant the same standards.

Rethink your relationship with alcohol._

A social impact campaign in partnership with Moderation Management, a non-profit organization that offers behavioral change programs and a national support group network for individuals concerned about drinking and wishing to make positive lifestyle changes. 


Moderation Management advocates for early self-recognition of risky drinking behaviors when moderate drinking may be achievable. 



Placed in medium to large cities with high foot traffic where recent college graduates and young professionals are living . 

Strategically placed in locations where individuals may be encountering negative side effects of excessive drinking,

such as inside a rideshare vehicle, the Pedialyte aisle, and a bar restroom.

Tinder - Brand Partnership

As the #1 dating app on both iOS and Android, Tinder has amassed approximately 7.8 million users in the U.S. and would serve as a driver in this campaign by reaching this audience as they swipe through potential matches. 


Realistic profiles would seem like compatible matches at first glance but go on to show a "red-flag" bio. The branded-partnership profiles would feature a bio that personifies alcohol as a real person, describing the adverse outcomes of being in an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and would direct swipers to Moderation Management. 

Reddit - Organic Content

r/AmItheAsshole, a highly popular subreddit on Reddit and other social media platforms, is commonly used to seek opinions and judgment on various relationship scenarios. In this campaign, posts would depict similar situations where toxic relationships with alcohol are personified, reflecting the similar patterns between the types of relationships. 

The post-update would reveal the campaign and drive readers to Moderation Management. 

Breakup Box Activation with Ben&Jerry's

Similar to romantic relationships and the dreaded exchange of the "break up box" filled with an ex's belongings, this activation would encourage those looking to amend their relationship with alcohol to bring in a box filled with items that remind them of alcohol: bottles, clothes, bottle openers, and more. 

In exchange, a pint of Ben&Jerry's ice cream and a heartfelt card would be given for emotional support and to solidify the "breakup experience." The resource card leads to Moderation Management and other alcohol use disorder resources. 


Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a widespread, systemic issue that is caused by an array of variables and affects people not only within the U.S. but also across the globe. 

As a large-scale problem, no single campaign could solve this issue or disease. But with "Rethink Your Relationship with Alcohol," we hope to impact alcohol consumers in the early stages before the symptoms of AUD become more challenging to manage. Through this campaign, we hope those suffering from alcohol use disorder establish healthier habits or seek support and resources.

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