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Arrgh! No. Not. No. Port Phillip City Council’s Youtube ads are supposed to influence people not to piss or vomit in public. http://www.youtube.com/user/portphillipcouncil

Ok..we’re talking about drunk people here. Do drunk people even remember what they saw on Youtube last night? So maybe the aim is get other people talking…and I guess it might have, after all it’s not typical council fare. And the point of that is?

I feel like opening a whole folder on “in your face theory”. That’s the theory that says that, if people aren’t doing the right thing, then they need to be slapped in the face. And if that doesn’t work, punched in the face. And if that doesn’t…thumped a whole lot harder. It’s an amazingly common theory…a kind of atavistic monument to bad parenting. Is there any evidence, anywhere, that this theory does anything other than reinforce bad behaviour? No. But it just keeps on coming.

How about, instead of validating bad behaviour, we asked ourself what good behaviour might look like – good bystander behaviour for instance – and validate that. The “Tosser” campaign and the RTA’s “little finger” speeding campaign have a go at that. If you want to improve the standard of public decency in Fitzroy, the an “I love Fitzroy” approach, demonstrating good bystander behaviour, is likely to be way more effective.

If you want to disgust people, how about lower their resistance to the message with a light touch: http://osocio.org/message/what_did_mama_say

And if you really HAVE to use irony…try to be funny. Like http://osocio.org/message/buy_a_tribute_to_the_person_that_you_killed

If you want to create a viral message, light and funny really does travels faster and further than grim and disgusting.

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