White Christmas – Creating a positive impact for children through norm and behavioural change.

IOGT-NTO is a Swedish non-profit organisation and popular movement, with about 27,000 members distributed among 400 local associations across the country. Their goal is to contribute to a safer society where no one is afflicted by alcohol and other drugs.

Christmas is often associated with good times, laughs, joy and families coming together. The harsh reality is that even though this might be true for some, all children do not long for Christmas Eve. Instead, Christmas for many children is a holiday when adults become weird and sometimes unpleasant.

Our main challenge was making people understand the severity of their alcohol consumption, no matter how little it may be. White Christmas aimed to enlighten the general public that children notice the difference of adult (mental) presence and behaviour even if small amounts of alcohol are consumed.

These claims are dismissed or belittled by many. The majority of the population does not think it matters if one ‘only’ drinks a few glasses of alcohol during Christmas. The reason for this is because most feel that they are not affected; because they can not tell. The main challenge was to get people to understand this! So how do we go about doing this?

Who knows this truth and these facts better than anybody else? The answer was: the children.

So we decided to use them as our advocates for spreading this important message. We also did this because it is easy to claim that White Christmas is lying and spreading alternative truths, but it is a lot harder dismiss children as liars. So if adults don’t think children notice the difference we will let the children enlighten them and tell them that they notice and register a lot more than adults think they do.

So we let the children share their experiences about how they perceive adults when they drink alcohol, and how that makes them feel.

Impact:

50% of Swedes between 18 and 74 are familiar with the campaign White Christmas.

Over 50% of those who had seen the campaign stated that they were affected by it.

15% signed the petition.

18% drank less.

Another 18% percent reflected on their drinking.
The White Christmas campaign was the cause of over one million Swedes abstaining from alcohol, drinking less or reflecting on their alcohol consumption.

All of this was achieved without buying any airtime on TV for commercials.