Riverbed disrupts responsible drinking PSA category

Advertising campaigns around responsible drinking have been ubiquitous with the common theme worldwide playing on fear veiled in a morbid reality of destruction and death. The much anticipated Aware ‘Choices’ campaign by Riverbed, released on 31 May 2018, flips this concept on its head, presenting a more positive persuasion by giving context to the notion that, when you drink, you should drink like there is a tomorrow.

“Consumers have become numb to the monotonous wallpaper of responsible drinking campaign messages; they’re simply not relating to it, and therefore not acting upon it. We were cognizant of this when developing the creative rationale, and wanted to inspire consumers to feel empowered and hopeful. In other words, through this campaign, we want to encourage consumers to make the responsible choice, and positively shape their future,” shared the newly appointed executive creative director of Riverbed, Adrian Miller.

The brief from the non-profit organisation, Aware.org, (Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education), was to help develop a campaign that would resonate with consumers, and infuse a culture of responsible, accountable and moderate behaviour.

Riverbed partnered with director, Gordon Lindsay of Braille Films to bring the ‘Choices’ storyboard to life as a filmic, conversation starter, which is uniquely refreshing in a category that defaults to reprimanding and scare tactics. The technique used to dramatise the good and bad choices around drinking, visually presents an impactful juxtaposition, which Miller believes will simultaneously entertain and influence viewers.


Miller joined Riverbed earlier this year to mastermind the overall agency creative strategy and direction. When commenting on his ambitions for the team and creative product, he expressed, “Riverbed is budding with potential to create powerful, creative work, and I am confident that the talent, combined with the team’s determination for the agency to become a formidable player in the market, will soon start reaping real results. Aware is a case in point.”

Apart from the bold business goals, Monalisa Sibongile Zwambila, Riverbed’s CEO has always inculcated an agency culture that has heart. Since its inception ten years ago, the agency has upheld its purpose to do great things for the greater good. And producing work with this narrative for Aware.org underpins the team’s commitment to working with brands that they believe can make a difference. Zwambila is optimistic that as a sustained campaign, Aware.org will encourage consumers to rethink their behaviour around responsible drinking.

The campaign will be shared across various platforms including television, radio, out of home, transit and digital.

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