The new Pocheville is here

Éduc’alcool is proud to announce that the new and improved version of Pocheville is now online at pocheville.ca. Pocheville (basically, Loserville) is a French-only interactive site designed to make young people more aware of the effects of alcohol abuse.

Pocheville was an instant hit the moment it was launched. Within a year, it became Quebec’s seventh largest city, with a “population” of about 170,000. The program has also had a major impact on young people’s attitudes towards alcohol and drinking. This was demonstrated by a recent study comparing a control group to a group of teens who had visited Pocheville. Most importantly, there was a significant difference between the two groups in terms of their agreement with the following statements (the percentage differential appears in parentheses):

  • If you abuse alcohol, you risk changing your personality (19%)
  • You shouldn’t mix alcohol and energy drinks (15%)
  • If you abuse alcohol, you could end up in the hospital (12%)
  • Alcohol makes you gain weight (11%)
  • Drinking makes you happy; abusive drinking makes you unhappy and sick (10%)

Focusing on the social impact

Research also showed that Pocheville had a more notable impact on boys than on girls, and that while players definitely understood the physical consequences of alcohol abuse, they were not as clear about the social impact (violence, loss of friends, loneliness).

Also, given that Éduc’alcool had been extremely successful in reaching its target market, it was obvious that social media would need to be used fully to recruit new Pocheville “residents” and convey the message more widely.

The new Pocheville therefore gets right into the day-to-day online life of today’s teens, provides material that can be shared on social networks, and allows people to express their disapproval of alcohol abuse.

Pocheville also has a Facebook page (known as Facepoche) where residents can communicate with each other and with key townspeople: Elvis (the mayor), Rita Bigoudis (the hairdresser), le Gros (the fat guy) and, of course, Ralph the toilet bowl. Pocheville is now fully integrated in the daily life of Quebec teens.

The same objectives

The objectives for the new Pocheville are the same as for phase one: to use popular media to make young people aware of alcohol abuse; to delay their first drink as long as possible; and when they begin to drink, to make sure they do so moderately and under controlled circumstances.

What’s different about the new Pocheville is its greater focus on the social consequences of drinking.

The use of social networks allows young people themselves to become the messengers of moderation. They are the ones who can influence their friends and talk to them about unpleasant situations related to alcohol.

Pocheville characters on Facebook

Mini-applications continue to be added to keep kids in touch with each other on the subject. Games, “pochecards,” barf bags, incentive ads, etc., will be added weekly to the site to maintain user interest.

Each Pocheville character also has his or her own Facebook page. Characters initiate the exchange of applications and update their status regularly.

The website Pocheville.ca is now a place where kids can find out about new applications, check their status, compare it with other users, see characters’ Facebook status and access earlier versions of Pocheville.

Special status: Boss des bécosses

To further encourage participation, the most active users will have a chance to earn the title Boss des bécosses (Outhouse Boss). It’s a temporary status assigned to the most active participants who post the most news. Points are awarded for each activity, and as you accumulate points, you move up in the Pocheville hierarchy, which comes with all kinds of benefits.

Experience Pocheville for yourself! http://pocheville.ca

Go to the Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pocheville/161368338961?v=app_4949752878

Send a pochecard: http://apps.facebook.com/cartespochetales/

Go to Mayor Elvis’s page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pocheville/161368338961?v=app_4949752878#!/pages/Mononcle-Elvis/131579253558261