Candy or Pills – Can You Tell the Difference?
November 11, 2013
— Campaign, Can You Tell the Difference, Cardinal Health, HallOUween, Poster Campaign
ImPRessions Cardinal Health Account Implements HallOUween Campaign
Bongs, lines and cans – all common forms of drug distribution that college students are familiar with. But what about small orange bottles? You know the kind; they may sit in your parents’ medicine cabinet and can easily be picked up at any local pharmacy. Most people don’t realize that legal prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as illegal narcotics. This is the issue that the ImPRessions Cardinal Health account deals with here on campus. We inform the student population on the dangers of abusing prescription drugs.
A few weeks before Halloween, the Cardinal account was having its weekly meeting when the subject of new poster designs came up. The team started to brainstorm some really great ideas for future campaigns. This brainstorm made me think of something called a “pill party”. I had heard of these parties in the media, where teens raid their parents’, grandparents’ or friends’ medicine cabinets and dump the contents of the containers they find into a bowl at the beginning of the party. The attendees then proceed to grab handfuls from the bowl and pop the pills like candy. Obviously this is a perfect example of prescription drug abuse and it inspired my concept for the Cardinal Halloween campaign.
Once I proposed the idea of comparing the consumption of pills to candy in the spirit of Halloween, the team loved it! We did an eye-popping search of images of pills and candy. This search made us realize that there are so many types of pills that look like candy and make it easier for teens to casually take them. We hoped that by placing a picture of colorful candy next to a picture of colorful pills, it would help students to realize that prescription pills can easily be mistaken for something much more innocent.
We emblazoned half the posters with the tag line “Can You Tell the Difference?” and half with “Trip or Treat”. I was so honored to have the opportunity to design these posters and put an image to my idea. It was such a thrill to see one hanging in the CVS window.
In the end, this spur of the moment campaign was very successful. The posters helped grow awareness of prescription drug abuse during the famous Ohio University Halloween block party during the week of October 20-26. These fliers were distributed to all 42 residence halls, the Campus Care pharmacy, the local CVS pharmacy and also placed in the most heavily trafficked academic buildings on campus. Cardinal Health liked the campaign so much that next year we will be consulting with universities all over Ohio to help them implement a similar campaign.
-Sarah Rachul is a sophomore studying strategic communication with specializations in sports management and visual communication. Follow her at @Sarah_PD_Rachul.