This study investigates eight safe-drinking messages, using appeals to the ‘self’ versus appeals about ‘others’, in combination with either a low or high physical threat, or a low or high social threat. The participants were18-25 year old second-year university marketing students. An experimental design was used for data collection, which involved 196 participants, with the groups comprised of participants with homogenous demographic characteristics and drinking behaviour. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test the believability and effectiveness of the messages. It was determined that messages about ‘others’ were perceived as more believable and effective than the corresponding appeals used to the ‘self’. In addition, physical threats were more believable and effective than social threats, and low level threats were more believable than high level threats.