Online Program

Keep What You've Earned: Encouraging U.S. Navy Sailors to drink responsibly

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 8:50 a.m. - 9:10 a.m.

Teha Kennard, MS, Booz Allen Hamilton, Washington, DC
Kristina Cook, MA, Communication; PMP, Infrastructure and Military Health Team, Booz Allen Hamilton, Mclean, VA
Erin Brennan, Social Marketing Professional, Infrastructure and Military Health Team, Booz Allen Hamilton, Mclean, VA
Issue:In 2011, a Department of Defense report found that 33.1% of all military personnel had engaged in binge drinking over the prior 30 days. The U.S. Navy had a slightly higher rate of binge drinking prevalence at 36.1%. One in five of these Navy heavy drinkers indicated that they had experienced serious consequences as a result of their drinking.

Description: The “Keep What You’ve Earned,” (KWYE)campaign was designed to address the issue of irresponsible drinking amongst U.S. Navy populations by using affirmative messaging to remind Sailors how hard they’ve worked and how much they have to lose if their actions result in an alcohol incident. In order to best reach 18- to 24-year-old Sailors, the campaign utilizes an integrative social marketing mix of social media, community partnerships, public service announcement (PSA) videos, and a custom-designed mobile application aimed at encouraging responsible use of alcohol.

Lessons Learned:  Qualitative and quantitative methods (n= 1,400+ participants) revealed that 95% of Sailors had seen or heard alcohol abuse prevention messaging and 76% knew the KWYE campaign. Pier Pressure (the campaign mobile application) was downloaded by 5,000+ users. The Navy’s 21stCentury Sailor Office announced a 51% decrease in alcohol incidents during the campaign's summer months compared to the previous year.

Recommendations:  The KWYE campaign created awareness of the risks of irresponsible drinking, and also behavior change (i.e., more responsible drinking behavior). The combination of positive messaging and persuasive technology (i.e. a mobile application) show promise for future health interventions targeting alcohol abuse.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate how mobile applications can be an effective tool for creating behavior change. Discuss the use of positive messaging as an effective approach to behavior change persuasion. Evaluate behavior change campaign success via epidemiological inquiry.

Keyword(s): Alcohol Use, Behavioral Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered