The New Tradition Coalition in Lawrence, Kansas, has begun a rather innovative Facebook campaign to deter teenagers from getting fake identification cards in order to purchase cigarettes and alcohol.
The program, called Fake ID 101 and funded by the Kansas Department of Transportation, consisted of placing an advertisement on Facebook that offers fake IDs to teenagers, ages 16 to 20. The ad used the image of McLovin from the movie Superbad, in the scene where he shows his fake ID to his friends.
In two months, over 5,000 people responded to the ad. Instead of getting a fake ID, of course, the teens were directed to the New Tradition Coalition of Lawrence, Kansas website, which has practical information on the dangers of alcohol and substance abuse.
The New Tradition Coalition focuses on providing parents and the community with education and resources to reduce the incidence of underage drinking and related tragedies. Fake ID 101 was directly targeted at teenagers and used the place they hang out the most when they are online: Facebook.
In its first installment, the new initiative also actively cracked down providers of fake IDs, and had police officers in plain clothes making traffic stops, and checking bars and liquor stores (Really? In plain clothes? Who would pull over on a street if a guy in plain clothes is asking you to stop?). You can read more about the campaign here. It seems like a worthwhile effort, and we’d love to learn how successful the campaign was, beyond just the number of clickthroughs.
Do you agree with the initiative’s method — and would it work in other locations?