Main character stumbles out of a bar, bleary-eyed and disoriented.


In the spring 2009 sections of Clinical Associate Professor Lisa Troy’s Marketing 347 (advertising) class, students were given a budget with which to design an advertising campaign that would warn their peers of binge-drinking risks. From among 15 teams, the winning campaign was chosen to appear campus-wide as part of the Alcohol and Drug Education Programs (ADEP) office’s fall alcohol awareness campaign.

The ADEP office and Wired Ranch Advertising hoped the student involvement in the campaign would give their message the realistic edge it needed to reach their target audience. An unexpected result of bringing together Rich and the ADEP was the first on-campus Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in years, a group called A-Ags, which meets Mondays & Thursdays at 6pm in Cain Hall. Unknown to Troy when she asked Rich to be a consultant/judge was the fact that he had been in AA recovery for more than 20 years, and had worked with former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop on the Time-Life Medical Board on Alcoholism in the 1990s.


Jaime Burciaga ’09
Jordin McMinn ’09
David Lindsey ’09
Ashley Waak ’09
Lauralee Young ’09
Aubrey Arceneaux ’09


Main character’s friends laugh uproariously as they film his flailing arms and scattered sentences on their cell phones.


Main character thinks he sounds intelligent, but sounds like the village idiot. Friends snicker and jeer as he totters on.


Camera close-up over his shoulder as he weaves home, passersby give him wide berth.


Dim lighting, blur frame edges, slow zoom to close up of his face into sharp focus.



Main character on floor, sick, waking up. Doesn’t remember the night before or what he may or may not have done.


• • • • •

In a culture where movies like “The Hangover” are summer smash hits, the glorification of drunkenness is obvious. The media’s glossy representation of irresponsible and dangerous behavior entices the college crowd. Though they did not direct a blockbuster with a million-dollar budget, marketing students at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School used their advertising skills to promote a more sobering message: [How Much] is too much?

Students developed an advertising campaign warning their peers of binge-drinking risks. The winning campaign has appeared campus-wide as part of the Alcohol and Drug Education Programs (ADEP) office’s fall alcohol awareness campaign. Andrew Rich, president of Wired Ranch Advertising, provided feedback to the students throughout the designing process and helped evaluate the campaigns at the end of the semester.

Using eye-catching images, coupled with sobering facts, the campaign’s edgy concept appeals to university students. The team’s work put forth truths about binge-drinking; its immediate results to long-term health effects with thought-provoking evidence.

“This particular campaign provided a unique opportunity for the students to become more aware of the problems associated with excessive drinking, and make a positive difference on campus,” says Clinical Associate Professor Lisa Troy.

The top three designs developed by students in Troy's class appeared as posters displayed in all of Texas A&M's residence halls.
The top three designs developed by students in Troy’s class appeared as posters displayed in all of Texas A&M’s residence halls.

Students challenged their peers with questions like, “[How Much] before you don’t remember the night before?” or “[How Much] time at the Rec will it take to burn off the drinks from last night?” The top three designs appeared as posters displayed in all residence halls, and the questions were incorporated into slap bracelets handed out at summer 2009 Fish Camps. The ADEP has also featured the [How Much?] concept on its website, and will continue to use the idea as a marketing medium in the future.

“The response we are getting verbally from students at events, or feedback we have heard from other administrators, has been positive,” says Anna Williams, assistant coordinator of the ADEP, “They remember the information, which is the goal. We are looking forward to continuing the campaign with new [How Much?] questions and ads.”

It may not have the scale of a blockbuster movie, but the on-campus impact of this campaign is still undeniably important. “They may have even saved a life, and that’s not something many students are in a position to do,” said Troy.

For more information

To learn more about the [How Much?] campaign and to view the winning students’ concept, visit the ADEP’s website at http://studentlife.tamu.edu/adep

To learn more about A-Ags, visit their official site at http://www.aaggies.com.