The assignment was to create an informational public service campaign to help promote the NIH's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The institute was tasked with portraying Alcohol Use Disorder as a serious medical condition rather than a moral failing, while simultaneously destigmatizing those affected through.
We chose to portray the human toll of Alcohol Use Disorder by showcasing somber portraits of everyday people literally drowning in their drink of choice. We paired harrowing facts and statistics with quotes from real people who are battling this disease. Those who struggle with addiction to alcohol often describe the burden as a tide that continually pulls them under. The institute studies the psychological and scientific aspects of this national epidemic, so images of heads filling with alcohol felt poignant, arresting, and appropriate.
This started as a simple poster campaign, which succeeded in increasing awareness and education. The Research and Development team championed the campaign and chose to showcase it at one of their annual meetings. This was a wonderful opportunity to expand the idea, and brand the meeting itself with informational cards and water glasses. The cards contained the portraits and quotes, and were housed in a transparent slipcases that contained the alcohol and the facts to further highlight the separate but related human and scientific components. The portraits were printed on the glasses with heat-sensitive ink, so the alcohol and quote were revealed when cold water was poured into them.