TBWA\Dublin & HPRA have partnered to launch the campaign “Zero Gains” to spark the conversation around the serious dangers of anabolic steroid use in Ireland.
The use of anabolic steroids has increased tenfold in Ireland since 2015, with 449,411 illegal doses seized last year. Increasing numbers of people in the country – particularly young males – are being attracted by the lure of purchasing and taking anabolic steroids without a prescription or knowledge of the potentially serious consequences for their health and wellbeing. HPRA and TBWA\Dublin have launched a new education campaign, which sets out to help change this: “Zero Gains”.
The campaign, which TBWA\Dublin bring to life is driven through highly-targeted social, digital, and OOH executions, shows a number of graphic depictions of the dangerous side effects of anabolic steroid use, paired with phrases that will resonate with the target audience. The aim is to educate young adults on the dangers of using these substances, as a HPRA survey reveals that one in five of those aged between 18 and 34 would consider taking anabolic steroids. Use of anabolic steroids without a prescription can have devastating, long term and life-threatening side effects – including heart failure, liver issues, kidney damage, infertility, as well as chronic acne and hair loss.
Dr. Lorraine Nolan, Chief Executive Officer of HPRA said young men are under social pressure to gain muscle and bulk up. “Whilst use of illegal steroids was previously associated with competitive bodybuilding and enhanced sport performance, nowadays usage appears dominated by the desire to have the perceived perfect body image”. She added, “The real story is that non-medical use of anabolic steroids can have devastating, long term and life-threatening side effects.”
Minister for Health Simon Harris said the phenomenon of young men taking steroids without understanding the risks involved had “potentially serious consequences”, adding: “The campaign uses phrases, imagery and media that will resonate with the target audience who for the most part will be young and healthy. We need them to understand, that when everything is taken into account, there are clearly ‘zero gains’ to using anabolic steroids.”
Creative director: John Kilkenny
Copywriter: Niall McDonnell
Digital Art Director: Tomas McCabe
Art Directors: Eva Redmond, Zoe Perrin
Account Manager: Ruth Gill
Photography: Adrian Stewart