Tribal New York Tests Robots for the Dangers of DXM Abuse
Tribal New York has created a brand new digital campaign and mobile app for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids called “DXM Labworks” that targets “fence sitter” teens, ages 14-19, who know of DXM abuse or have friends who abuse it. Many teens abuse DXM (found in OTC cough medicine) by taking it in large doses to get high, which can cause short-term side effects and serious long-term damage.
This first-ever mobile app lets teens engage with the effects of DXM drug use through interactive robots, and allows teens to virtually experience the side effects by creating their own robot that must perform a series of 3 “tasks” while high on DXM. After the robot has either “Failed” or “Failed less” on each task there is a final “boss” task where the user attempts to stop their robot from puking. You can download the app from iTunes or Google.
“From a developer’s perspective it was difficult to create a game that tackled such a sensitive topic,” said Lead Game Monk Sander van der Vegte. “The message we wanted to convey was that DXM abuse would always lead to negative consequences. We made this point by enforcing failure regardless of how well the user plays.” However, this created a contradiction that they needed to solve. “From a gamer’s perspective the inability to win is detrimental to the overall experience.” van der Vegte said. “Inescapable failure isn’t an aspect of gaming that you would typically expect. Therefore we introduced elements of humour in our design, keeping the game entertaining and worthwhile without diminishing the message of the campaign.”
Taking Tribal’s creative concepts and developing them into a fully fledged production, MediaMonks Games produced all assets. “From the design of the 12 mini-games to the production of the CGI introduction video, practically everything was created in-house, which is a true testament to the ability of our games studio,” said van der Vegte.
The DXM Labworks campaign aims to engage teens with the negative effects/consequences of DXM abuse by conveying two messages:
· Side effects – through a new mobile app teenagers will be able to interact with robots and experience the effects of DXM without actually taking it themselves
· Social disapproval – teens focus on social status more than anything else and through interaction with the robots they can see how others (in this case robot friends) are likely to react when on the drug
In addition to the mobile app, the campaign includes banners, an interactive trailer, video ads and a new website. This is Tribal New York’s First campaign for CHPA.
Advertiser: Consumer Healthcare Products Association
Creative Agency: Tribal New York
Art Director: Stephanie Spero
Copywriter: Brent Goldman
Executive Creative Director: Kinney Edwards
Group Creative Director: Josh McGuire
Producer: Shannon Strange
Production Company: Media Monks
Category: Beauty/health , Health care