Relationship Realities

Case study:

Behaviour change

Individual 'nudges' or resources

Increase family stability by providing relationship support to couples affected by addictions.

  • Commit to weekly one-to-one time together
  • Understand and apply the notion of 'active listening'
  • Understand that their relationship may become under pressure and help is available


Behavioural objectives and insights

Input from relationships and additional academics.
Primary research among target audience.
Designed using EAST framework.
Planned using OASIS framework.


Alpha Prototype

Small trial to get proof of concept

100 cheap, pre-loaded MP3 players distributed via drug/alcohol workers.
Quant and qual evaluation of end-users and distributors.


Beta Prototype

Bigger, wider trial to test scale up

1000 manufactured audio books.
Wider range of audiences/addictions.
Enhanced evaluations, e.g. SMS, PR campaigns.

Make it easy

‘Frictionless’, self-contained and simple to use resource that was ready to use immediately (e.g. was not dependent on internet access)

Make it attractive

An aesthetically pleasing physical item of high perceived value – like a gift – to create intrigue and get attention + real-life audio stories were highly engaging and connected on an emotional level.

Make it timely

The resource was given to couples at a specific stage of their ‘coping journey’ as part of a package of professional counselling.

Make it social

The item was given personally to couples by practitioners who already had a close relationship with them and audio stories came from real people in the same social situation as our audience, rather than from distant professionals.

Alpha Prototype

  • Partnerships with charities OnePlusOne and Adfam
  • Real-life stories of couples living with addiction in their families
  • Six ‘relationship realities’ clips loaded on to low-cost MP3 players
  • Gift box with simple instructions and a freepost evaluation form
  • 100 copies distributed via eight drug/alcohol workers across the UK
  • 96% of respondents agreed that they could relate to some of the experiences
  • 78% stated that the resource led to them making one or more of the campaign’s target behaviour adjustments
  • Strong support from drug/alcohol worker

Beta Prototype

  • Unreliable MP3 players replaced with specially designed and manufactured audio books – suitable for scaling up as required
  • 1000 distributed via drug/alcohol workers to wider range of audiences
  • Enhanced, independent evaluation of end users and distributors
  • Early findings or behavioural impact very positive, ROI particularly strong compared to existing interventions
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