A team of three researchers from Social Marketing @ Griffith will hand out up to 19,000 wrist bands to young people as they register for Schoolies on the Gold Coast this weekend.

A selection of messages and advice will be inscribed on the coloured bracelets, aimed at encouraging Schoolies to play safe in ways such as #nofightstonight.

“Phase one of the research with young people told us relatable messages that are positive and offer support are needed to take on serious problems like assaults,” Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele said.

“Our aim this week is to see if we can get young people to engage.

SRTsmall“Binge-drinking and the negative consequences of drinking too much alcohol, for example violence, are associated with events like Schoolies, and our work is focused on helping to address and reduce the potential dangers and risks.”

This message testing study will inform an upcoming pilot program to be rolled out in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley in December. Social marketers from Griffith Business School are working with Queensland Police Service on the campaign in the build-up to the Christmas party season.

“The messages on the bracelets are in the words of young people and are reminders to play safe. Some messages are focused on fun, support and socialising, while other messages are more traditionally focused,” Professor Rundle-Thiele said.

HandsSmallTwo hashtags are being tested – #nofightstonight and #nameyourplay – to understand which focus can effectively engage.

Under each hashtag, messages such as ‘It’s playtime!’have been created to start the conversation.