How can we help five million young people worldwide better understand the risks of underage drinking?
An interactive experience that puts young people at the heart of the story, allowing them to make decisions, interact with characters and learn about the consequences of underage drinking in an engaging way.
Smashed is a global alcohol awareness programme that has been running for more than 15 years. It drives behavioural and attitudinal change among young people worldwide, and tackles the dangers of underage drinking.
Delivered by Collingwood Learning, and supported by Diageo, the live programme uses a combination of drama performance and workshops. In order to reach five million people they needed to transition to an online experience whilst maintaining their powerful drama-based learning methodology.
Tell a story that our audience would want to watch, with characters that they could relate to. The story – and the way it was told – needed to reflect our target demographic; youthful and energetic but also true to life.
We conducted a short focus group with teenagers so that we could reflect how they would speak about these issues. Our research informed all of our decision making; from the design of the interactive through to the movement of the camera, the soundtrack through to the actors body language; and both verbal and written communication styles.
An interactive story for young people by young people, with a pull, not push approach – just like the content they would choose to watch, with a focus on decision-making as opposed to criticising lifestyle choices.
An experience that is tonally and visually true to life, filmed handheld to immerse the audience, featuring interactive social media snippets. The action focuses on three teens, who are navigating their way through life and underage drinking crunch points; the learning comes from the conversations that they have, and the decisions that they make.
The interactive film clips, which feature heavily throughout the learning experience, have also has been built and designed in a way that resonates with the audience. For example, there are vertical character clips as if they are being filmed (and watched) through a mobile phone.
One of the most significant visual challenges that we had to overcome was around portraying drunk characters. We needed to be mindful that their actions were never glamourised, but instead showed the profound impact that inebriation can cause.
We tested out a few methods, ranging from camera rigs, such as the SnorriCam, to experimenting with crystals and kaleidoscope balls in front of the lens to distort and manipulate the image, subsequently mimicking alcohol-induced blurry vision.
A global impact
This is a project with huge global ambitions; we’re helping to facilitate those goals by localising this learning experience across several countries. We have briefed these markets on how to approach the project, acting as the creative fulcrum to brings these stories to life around the world.
We decided that localising this project – so that every market has its own site and set of films – was the best solution so that the content feels wholly relevant and culturally on point in order to make the right sort of impact in each country.
Working with Tilt on Smashed Online has been transformative for Collingwood and the project itself. Faced with Covid-19, Smashed needed to transition to an online platform whilst maintaining our unique drama based methodology. We presented Tilt with a big challenge! The result has been a creative, trusting, and hugely enjoyable partnership. Tilt worked sensitively with our creative and educational material to adapt it to an e-learning model bringing fresh ideas and inspiration to the programme. The result is an emotionally engaging, top quality learning experience that is already generating fantastic feedback from teachers and students. It is infused with powerful video, hi-tech interactive elements, all focused on achieving strong learning outcomes.
What’s impressed me the most is the breadth of skills and experience within the Tilt team – from scripting and film to design and build functions – along with great project management delivered in an informal and collaborative way. It’s been a great partnership and one we hope to continue for years to come.
Chris Simes Managing director / Collingwood Learning