Dry January vs Dryathalon
Congratulations if you are halfway through your Dryathalon or Dry January! According to last year's figures there could be over two million staying sober with you. Or commiserations to those of you who didn't quite make the halfway point! We thought it was remarkable that these campaigns have garnered the support of millions of Britons and have generated so many column inches. Buzzfeed even put out a piece on the different personalities of dry athletes! Our favourite must be: 'The one with the escape clause.'
Let’s have a look at these very British campaigns.
Alcohol Concern instigated Dry January in 2013. This very timely campaign touched the hearts and minds of thousands of Britons who had overindulged at Christmas time, and were both a bit light in the wallet but heavy around the waistline. The campaign carried a serious message that focused on health benefits like weight loss, better sleep and financial savings. The campaign this year rallies around the strapline 'the easiest way to get healthy.' It includes statistics on the benefits of not drinking and a slightly bizarre video of different characters attempting to be healthy through eccentric means.
4,500 signed up the first year, 17,000 in 2014, and when Alcohol Concern teamed up with Public Health England in 2015, it surged to a whopping two million. The expectations are similar for this year. No official fundraising figures seem to be available for Dry January.
Cancer Research entered the race in 2013 with 35,000 participants raising £3 million. In 2014, 55,000 people participated raising £5.8million and approximately 80,000 participants took part last year raising a whopping £8.2million. Cancer Research's approach is tongue and cheek with the idea that you can still get out, enjoy life and raise some money for a good cause. This compelling message coupled with some well-branded graphics that align nicely with the Cancer Research core brand, rewards the participants along the journey with badges for their accomplishments.
Regardless of whichever campaign you are rooting for, it is fair to say that most studies seem to be declare positive results for health and one’s wallet.
- In a study by University of Sussex, 79% of participants said they saved money, 62% said they slept better, and 49% said they lost weight.
- 67 per cent of Dry January participants drank less six months after.
- 8 per cent “stayed dry”.
Whether you’re a Dryathlete or Dry January participants, cheer up there are only 15 more days to go. And if you feel off the wagon this year, well, you could always try again next year or consider taking part in an alternative campaign such as Veganuary or even 'Wine a Day January' to get you through those short days and long nights.