Monash University - Sip Safe
Advertising Agency
Sydney, Australia
Agency / Creative

4,500 Australians have their drink spiked every year - 40% of which lead to sexual assaults. So, as a caretaker of young people Monash University set a brief to help educate and make their students and the wider community more aware of drink safety. 

After observing that young people are accustomed to wearing wristbands at festivals and other events we found inspiration to create something to help stop drink spiking.

The Sip Safe wristband detects if a drink has been spiked with drugs. The wearer simply puts a drop of their drink onto the wristband and in a short amount of time the wristband changes colour if it has been exposed to ketamine or GHB – two common drink spiking drugs. 

The ability to test your own drink provides utility and the freedom of choice to the wearer. Also, wearing the Sip Safe wristband provides a visual deterrent to any would be drink spiker. The design of the wristband can incorporate the logos of any brand, nightclub or festival that provides these wristband to its patrons.

The Sip Safe wristband was first launched at the Schoolies end of exams party in November 2017. This activation was paired with market research through interviews and surveys that provided learnings on distribution, usage and engagement. 

Taking this feedback on board a program of activations was launched on Monash University campuses in April of 2018. This initial program saw more than 6,000 wristbands distributed to university students along with drink safety information. Coinciding with these activations we engaged the founder of Bars of the North, a venue safety organisation, to begin a program of lobbying licensed venues.

The results to date have been nothing short of remarkable. In the space of six months we have launched a product to some of the most vulnerable young people, begun an ongoing program around university campuses where more than 6,000 wristbands have been distributed as well as garnered international media attention.

Most importantly, in a university survey 89.5% of students now have a greater awareness of drink safety after engaging with Sip Safe.  

Further survey results showed: 

31.6 % knew of people who’ve had their drink spiked

78.9% Could see themselves or their friends using the wristbands.

From a commercial viewpoint, the Sip Safe wristband has been registered for a trade mark and the website’s had order enquiries from 27 countries. With this shift in scale the product developed with Monash University now has the potential to do far more good in harm minimisation for young people across the globe.