“Opioids Kill More Than Pain” – Know the Risks Campaign

Smaller than the size of a quarter, it has soft rounded edges and was responsible for over 17,000 deaths in 2017, prescription opioids. (NIH) To combat this tragic reality, KnowTheRX.org has developed an ad campaign to visually emphasize how dangerous opioids have become. This striking image depicts pills as the ammunition of a gun and the explosives of a grenade. The familiar shape and coloring of a pill bottle is encased within the weapons themselves, driving the compelling message. Pharmaceutical companies have been distributing these weapons to the masses and KnowTheRX wants everyone to know how deadly these pills are. No audience can ignore how disturbing this truth is.

Negative black space brings the focus of this advertisement directly to the center of this provocative image. Realistic texture brings the ad to life, telling the viewer this is a true issue. Directionally diffused lighting provides a shine from trigger to barrel, simulating a firing from the action of the revolver. Ammunition is developed from a loaded cylinder of pills. Unintentionally ironic, pills are already bullet shaped, a striking resemblance to these deadly rounds. Deep colors along with the familiar opaque amber of a pill bottle, detail the visuals that are included in the ad, that strategically evokes a feeling, through this emotional display.

Emotion continues throughout the dark design which presents an associated mood; scary, deadly, and nightmarish. Such a concept is intended to frighten the audience and is effective in its presentation. Yellow offsets the darkness in the bottom right corner, allowing the eye to travel through the entire ad, knowing where the ending resides. Caution, warning, beware is reinstated through this yellow block similar to police tape or construction signage.

Critical to this ad is the element of logic. The powerful verbal message is thought provoking, yet simple and direct, Opioids kill more than pain. Stating it this way informs the reader what the intention of opioids are, which is to reduce pain. It then states the reason for the advertisement, Opioids – Know the Risks”, a passionate approach to awareness. This remaining text develops credibility through an effective informative statement, followed by a .org website address, “KnowTheRx.org”.

Audience base is wide and effectively speaks to nearly every age group. The message is clear, opioids are deadly. Primarily it is addressing those who are using opioids. Hopefully this ad will save lives from fewer overdoses and less dependency. Adults all the way down to children are able to understand the imagery of the weapons as dangerous. Pill bottles will now also be instilled into these young minds to be associated with danger. Teenagers along with young adults will now take notice of friends, family and even future prescriptions from doctors, acknowledging the danger of opioids, possibly advocating for use prevention.

Void of distraction and confusion, the audience is instantly able to disseminate the importance of the message. The advertisement is a straight shooter, with a bulls-eye target in the direct center of this masterpiece. Connecting through all elements of persuasion to develop a cohesive argument, Opioids kill more than pain, provokes an eternal balance between the reality of drug use and mortality of addicts, death from misuse is inevitable. Truth can not be avoided when a prescription drug user sees a gun ready to shoot their opioid of choice. Perhaps it didn’t begin as a choice, rather a doctor recommendation, as shown in the May lead to HEROIN image, however the grim ending with continued use, is death.

Created in August of 2017 by the Cuyahoga County Opioid Marketing Task Force along with Doner, Opioids kill more than pain aims to create awareness about the effects of the deadly drug. This ad campaign featured other variations including a grenade to distribute the same message. Street advertisements were also created, utilizing a human-sized pill bottle. Actual people were encapsulated inside this massive attraction, with vivid details and accounts taken from individuals who have suffered from opioid addiction and the story behind the horrific truth, “It Started with a Prescription. It Ended with an Addiction.” (Doner)

Awareness is essential to combat the opioid crisis. Using shock tactics in marketing can be effective and Opioids kill more than pain does just that. The ad is spreading the word in a way that people will react to, share, and tell others about. With an in your face message, there is no doubt people will start to realize just how deadly opioids are.

Prescott House has been treating addiction and underlying issues men face since 1988. Proven results are right here at our facility in Prescott, AZ, as 95% of current staff are graduates of the program. Many of these men and their families faced the same fear that drugs, alcohol and substance abuse would some day take their lives. Prescott House has found that the most effective care for addiction, are programs that offer intense therapy, in a structured environment. These programs are able to remove an addict from the comfort of the addictive lifestyle that have been conducive to failure.

Prescott House treats individuals on a case-by-case basis. Please take the time to speak with admissions director, Tim Scanlan regarding the process of Restoring Men’s Lives at (928) 425-4673.

Doner. “Know The Risks” Cuyahoga County Opioid Marketing Task Force.
NIH. “Overdose Death Rates” National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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