Delaware was suffering a heavy toll from underage drinking: violence, crashes, high-risk sex, property damage, poisonings, treatment and other ills. These were not only were harming young lives, but costing taxpayers more than $150 million annually. The state faced a crisis and required a hard-hitting public awareness campaign to arrest the situation.


GillespieHall was hired by the state, and worked with Delaware First Lady Carla Markell, Attorney General Beau Biden and other top state officials. We created and branded a comprehensive, multimedia campaign, which we named Step-Up, targeting parents and teens with thought-provoking and hard-hitting messages. Our primary audience was parents, and we used all media conduits to get our message across, including digital, print, radio, outdoor advertising and video. We ran town hall events and meetings during which AG Beau Biden addressed the risks of parents turning a blind eye to alcohol consumption.


When President Obama hosted the first Prevention Conference in Washington DC, he kicked off the event with our GH 2013 award-winning video: “Rethink Teens and Drink.” The Step-Up campaign’s message resonated so strongly that schools and parents began requesting pre-prom presentations. Six months after a Step Up ad ran on, the recall rate was still at 95%.

Behavior Change Campaigns, Case Studies