The “Power of No”: Int’l photo contest celebrates winners for combatting drink driving in Việt Nam

December 16, 2022 - 09:46
Multi-sector alliance of 28 community organisations, businesses, associations, and governments across Southeast Asia are harnessing the power of collaboration to tackle drink driving among young adults
Poster for the photo contest. — Photo from AIP Foundation

HÀ NỘI — Hundreds of young adults across Southeast Asia entered an international photo contest centred around the theme “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk,” as part of the “Power of No” campaign against drink driving.

Twenty eight multi-sector partners are coming together to celebrate the creativity, energy, and commitment of young people to say “NO” to drink driving.

We are losing our next generation at an alarming rate

In Southeast Asia, road crashes claim the lives of 2,000 people each day; in Việt Nam, 32 per cent of men’s road crash injuries and 20 per cent of women’s road crash injuries are related to alcohol.

Furthermore, according to the World Health Organisation, 34 per cent of Việt Nam’s road deaths involve alcohol.

Those at highest risk are young people in their 20s – dynamic and promising individuals who are just getting started on building their future. Government, civil society, and the private sector must all play a role in reducing these deaths and injuries to reach the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 3, which aims to halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road crashes by 2030.

Empowering young people to protect their friends and themselves

The “Power of No” public awareness campaign is a regional effort aimed at raising awareness amongst young adults of drinking age (18-30 years old) about the profound consequences of drinking and driving. It reinforces the message amongst young adults that drink driving is socially unacceptable, helped them make better-informed choices and, ultimately, saves lives.

The ground-breaking social media initiative has reached over 30 million young adults of legal drinking age since launching in early 2022 in Việt Nam.

The Automobile Association of Vietnam (AA Việt Nam, a member of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile or FIA), the Việt Nam Association for Responsible Drinking (VARD), the Vietnamese Motorsports Association, EuroCham Việt Nam, and Protec Helmets have come together to educate young people about the harms that could be caused by drink driving.

The campaign is supported by the Asia Pacific International Spirits and Wines Alliance (APISWA) and creative agency Orès, with endorsement from the United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR), the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC) and the EU-ASEAN Business Council (EU-ABC).

The “Power of No” campaign is a unique alliance of 28 partners representing multilateral organisations, community non-profits, the private sector, governments, and civil society associations.

The campaign launched an international photo contest this Autumn around the theme “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.”

Through a targeted social media strategy and influencer marketing, the contest reached over seven million young people with 450,000+ likes, comments, and shares in two months across Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, and PartiPost.

Contestants submitted photos showing off their creative ideas to stop a friend about to drive drunk.

Contestants were eligible for an “Audience Vote” prize of a new iPhone 13. Photos were also reviewed by a Judges Panel of international road safety experts and advocates, who awarded prizes including a new Apple Watch Series 7, an Amazon Echo Dot wireless speaker, and gift vouchers to rideshare apps.

To score contest entries, road safety expert Nguyễn Xuân Tùng served as the lead Expert Judge. Tùng is the Vice Dean of Faculty of Civil Engineering at the Vietnam University of Transport & Communications and an expert in transportation infrastructure, innovation, and renovation.

Việt Nam’s most popular Audience Vote photo came from Nguyễn Duy Toàn, who pretended to take friends' motorcycle keys and order them a taxi ride home instead of driving drunk, earning them a new Apple iPhone 13 as a prize. The First Prize winning photo was submitted by Trần Thị Tú Nhi, who buried a friend in soil they could not drink drive. Other winning photo ideas to stop a friend from drink driving included: tying a friend’s hands with rope, stealing a friend’s keys and running away, and wrapping a friend in plastic wrap.

Winners of the Power of No photo contest (From left to right, first row: First prize, Audience votes, Second prize, and three Third prizes on the second row). — Photo from AIP Foundation

Change behaviour, save lives

The photo contest successfully motivated young people to learn more about how alcohol works in the body, legal obligations, and useful tips to avoid drink driving. By participating in the contest, young people were compelled to think critically about their own actions and relationship to drink driving, were subconsciously exposed to repeated messaging over time, and incentivised to spread the word to their friends. The campaign’s high engagement and participation reinforces that young people are open to learning about responsible drinking and changing their behaviour with drink driving.

“It is one thing to read about drink driving risks, and quite another to take action – to step up and participate in a movement calling attention to the dangers of irresponsible drinking,” said Hoàng Na Hương, CEO of AA Việt Nam. “We are proud of the young people across our community in Southeast Asia for raising their voices on this important issue.”

“We are very excited to continue to work with AA Việt Nam and all our partners to deliver a message of responsible drinking to young adults of legal drinking age in Southeast Asia,” said John O’Keeffe, President, Asia Pacific & Global Travel for Diageo and current Chairman of APISWA. “Changing behaviours and giving young adults the agency to make informed choices is critical to helping reduce alcohol-related road accidents.” — VNS