Mobile phone with LIVES page up

About the Project

LIVES : Leveraging Impactful Videos to End Stigma

The lives campaign was created to help draw attention to the growing stigma around drug and alcohol abuse. The stigma comes from this idea that you are somehow a degenerate, druggie, bum, or loser if you are struggling with an addiction. The Lives Campaign hopes to change that with it’s 3 month long contest, where anyone can make a 1-3 minute video that helps to stop stigma and encourage people with an addiction to seek treatment.

Project Specifics and Restrictions

illustration showing how the lives campaign is intended to work.

The contest was controlled though the hero X platform. This helped us to control sign ups, storage, and communication though out the contest. But there was little that we could do in the way of branding for the contest. So we wanted to create a separate landing page that will explain the contest and the sign up process in a user friendly way. Since there were multiple steps and sites involved in the contest, we felt that this landing page could act as checklist for the contestants. One place with all the links and info that they would need to be successful. From there, social media assets could be branded and launched, bringing viewer to the landing page. By doing this, users would see and interact with the same branding and message until they were ready to join the contest. Social media also insured that we would have two way communication with our audience, creating a conversation and not just a campaign.

Visual Inspiration

Visual inspiration for the Lives Campaign

The visual inspiration for this project came form trying to lead by example. The imagery needed to be bright and encouraging. Shapes had to be organic and images needed to show people in a positive and empowering way. The tradition of showing people that are depressed or in anguish wasn’t helping the goal of the project. Instead we focused on imagery that showed people in a time of growth, sharing, and happiness. The goal for the visuals was to leave the viewer inspired to break down the conventions of stigma and share that message with the world.

Wire Frames

LIVES Campaign Website Wireframe

The overall structure for the website was fairly straight forward. It was going to be a one page website that walked the viewer through a “Why How What” conversion process ending with the steps to enter to win. With that page information architecture in place it was easy to wire frame how the areas of copy will interact with the images as the viewer scrolls down the page. By floating one area to the right and one area to the left created a flexible and responsive layout, where the content would just stack as the site was viewed on a small screen.


LIVES Campaign Website

The visual system that was developed for LIVES used brush strokes and splatter to crop subjects from their backgrounds and also paint in areas of attention grabbing color. This created the organic shapes that helped to lead the user from one area of copy to the next. Images have meaning in relation to the copy but also in the way that they are styled. The people in each image was intentionally left black and white. The concept that these people are regular people that may be struggling with addition. The organic color background represents the potential of person if the reached help and go treatment. Each image was design to give the feeling of motion, positive emotion, and growth.


images of LIVES social media ads

Social sharing was really the driver for traffic to the landing page. Knowing that, Ads where created that could be shared across the major social networks, linkedin, facebook, instagram, and twitter. The goal of the ads was to peak curiosity enough for the user to stop user from scrolling past them and click to find out more. The same visual look and feel was used throughout the ads. Again this was a way that we were leading by example, and not using the visuals of stigma to drive traffic.

The Contest is still ongoing. Head over to to see the final result in action!


I would like to acknowledge Sam Penkacik, a designer and developer. Without his help this project would not have been possible. Sam and I collaborated on the layout and design. You can learn more about him here