That Guy Campaign:
Research, Measurement, and Results
Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with a number of other behavioral health and force readiness issues including suicide, physical assaults, sexual assaults, domestic violence, and motor vehicle accidents. The That Guy campaign is designed to serve as one tool in the prevention tool box to help installations in their efforts to reduce binge drinking among junior service members. Since the That Guy campaign's launch in 2006, research has shown binge drinking rates among the target audience have been decreasing and are lower at installations consistently implementing the That Guy campaign.
How Do We Measure the Effectiveness of the That Guy Campaign?
The That Guy campaign utilizes multiple research and measurement tools, including two DoD surveys, to track increases in awareness, shifts in attitudes, and changes in behavior related to binge drinking. A summary of these research and measurement tools is provided below:
Why is the Campaign Called That Guy?
The That Guy campaign brand was developed with the knowledge that the majority of U.S. service members are male and that, historically, the highest rates of binge drinking within the military occur among male service members between the ages of 18-24, pay grades E1-E4. With any behavior change marketing campaign, efforts are directed at the population with the biggest problem. While the campaign's brand name is That Guy, That Girl depictions, consequences, and messages are also included and designed to reach junior female service members. Be on the lookout for additional That Girl materials in 2015!
1. Health Related Behaviors Survey (HRBS)
Analysis of the 2008 HRBS indicated a statistical correlation between That Guy campaign implementation and lower rates of binge drinking at participating DoD installations and also indicated a lower rate of binge drinking, overall, among junior enlisted men relative to the 2005 survey. Specifically, the differences in the 2008 rates of binge drinking at installations actively promoting That Guy versus inactive installations showed:
- 36% at active versus 56% at inactive (Army)
- 35% at active versus 45% at inactive (Air Force)
- 45% at active versus 49% at inactive (Navy)
Due to changes in the 2011 HRBS methodology, the most recent survey results cannot be compared to past surveys. However, the 2011 HRBS data are now being analyzed to identify current binge drinking behaviors which will aid in planning future campaign activities.
2. Status of Forces Survey (SOFS)
The most recent SOFS (2012) revealed that:
- Awareness of That Guy among the E1-E4 target audience was 64%, an all-time high (relative to only 14% during 2007, the year after the campaign's launch)
- The target audience showed a stronger level of agreement with the campaign's core message of keeping one's drinking under control and acting responsibly (increased significantly from 53% in 2006 to 64% in 2012)
- Binge drinking among those ages 21-24 has steadily declined since 2006 (from 55% to 49%)
3. Focus Group Testing
To date, seventy-one (71) focus groups have been conducted at 20 unique installations, both CONUS and OCONUS, with 555 service members (men and women), pay grades E1-E4. Focus groups were also conducted at the U.S. Military Academy (USMA) to explore the relevance of That Guy with future officers. Findings from the focus groups include:
- E1-E4 service members are more receptive to peer-to-peer messaging rather than top-down communications
- The campaign's commercial look and feel are more effective than military visuals in the context of the topic of binge drinking
- Occasional binge drinkers indicated that messaging featuring short-term, reputational consequences in a humorous context would be most effective
- That Guy Posters and word-of-mouth between peers drive the most awareness, particularly in barracks/dorms and recreational environments
- Female-only focus groups confirmed that That Guy themes, messages, and materials also resonate with them
- The campaign's messages are also relevant to future officers based on focus groups conducted at USMA
- Reasons for excessive drinking have not changed much since 2006 and are similar across all services
4. Additional That Guy Campaign Research Methodologies
In addition to the HRBS, SOFS, and focus groups, the That Guy campaign created and uses a variety of other research tools to guide the campaign's direction and evolution, including:
- Web Surveys:
Collected online from both the junior military population and campaign points-of-contact (POCs)
- Self-Administered Questionnaires:
An anonymous installation-level feedback mechanism that provides local leadership and POCs with insights regarding junior enlisted service members’ awareness of the campaign, attitudes toward excessive drinking, and perceptions of how the campaign has impacted their drinking behavior
Observational research of the target audience in their drinking habitats, typically off-installation bars and clubs. The campaign team has conducted ethnographic research in three military markets to date
Want to learn more or have questions about the research or results? Contact the That Guy team at [email protected]!
To order FREE That Guy marketing materials, visit www.thatguy.com/resources!
NEW Around the World Cartoons!
Working with nationally syndicated cartoonist Mark Parisi, the That Guy team created new That Guy "Around the World" cartoons available for download on the POC Resource Site. The cartoons depict the consequences of becoming That Guy or That Girl in 15 CONUS and OCONUS locations.