Confronting the Unseen: A Powerful Awareness Campaign for the American Diabetes Association

Revealing the hidden dangers of undiagnosed diabetes, this striking print campaign urges early detection and treatment to prevent devastating complications.

About the American Diabetes Association

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is committed to raising awareness about diabetes and its severe complications, promoting early detection, and providing support and resources to those affected by the disease.

Project Overview

I had the pleasure of collaborating with IBP on their Open Budget Survey 2017 report, marking my fifth time designing for this series, following the successful completion of the 2008, 2012, and 2015 reports.

This comprehensive 6-month project encompassed the design, development, and project management of a 4-color, 72-page report available in both printed and digital formats. Additionally, I created a Global status map, Key index chart, and 4-page summaries for each of the 115 countries ranked in the survey. To ensure global accessibility, all materials were recreated and published in 5 languages: Arabic, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Challenge

With an estimated 16 million people in the United States having diabetes, and a staggering 5 million of them unaware of their condition, the challenge was to create an awareness campaign that not only educates people about the severity and consequences of diabetes but also grabs their attention in a unique and memorable way. The campaign needed to underscore the risks of untreated diabetes, such as blindness, kidney disease, heart disease, stroke, and nerve damage that can lead to amputation.

Solution

The key insight that guided the campaign’s strategic direction was the alarming fact that millions of Americans are living with undiagnosed diabetes. This realization led to a powerful creative concept: “If you have diabetes, chances are you won’t know you have it. Until you don’t have it.”

As the Creative Director and Art Director, I developed a series of three double-page print ads designed to confront readers with the stark reality of untreated diabetes. Each ad features a striking visual contrast between the left and right pages.

The left page uses a clean, white background with centered black text in a classic serif font, stating, “If you have diabetes, chances are you won’t [know/feel/see] it.” This simple yet impactful copy alludes to the often hidden nature of the disease.

In stark contrast, the right page showcases a full-bleed, vivid photograph depicting the devastating consequences of untreated diabetes – a pile of prosthetics (amputation), a hand on a red-hot stove coil (nerve damage), and complete darkness (blindness). The juxtaposition is further emphasized by a centered black rectangle with white text reading, “Until you can’t have it.”

By boldly confronting readers with the potential outcomes of undiagnosed diabetes, the campaign creates a sense of urgency around getting tested. The ADA’s contact information and key statistics are included to drive action.

[logo] American Diabetes Association
If you have diabetes, chances are you won't know you have it. Until you don't have it.
If you have diabetes, chances are you won't feel it. Until you can't feel.
If you have diabetes, chances are you won't see it. Until you can't see.

The Results

The thought-provoking visuals and impactful messaging of the campaign successfully raised awareness about the critical importance of early diabetes detection and treatment. The ADA reported a significant increase in calls from people seeking information about diabetes testing, indicating the campaign’s effectiveness in prompting action.

The campaign’s powerful creative approach not only earned recognition within the advertising industry, including an ADDY Award and being a finalist in the New York Festivals, but more importantly, it contributed to the ADA’s mission of improving the lives of those affected by diabetes through increased awareness and education.

Industry

  • Non-Profit

Project Type

Involvement

  • Art Director
  • Creative Director
  • Photographer

Tools

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Photoshop