Short List
Product/ServiceBLUE CROSS
Category G08. Copywriting
Media Placement MEDIAPLUS München, GERMANY
Additional Company EAT, SLEEP + DESIGN Berlin, GERMANY
Name Company Position
Alexander Schill SERVICEPLAN GROUP Global Chief Creative Officer
Matthias Harbeck SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Executive Creative Director
Till Hohmann SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Executive Creative Director
Sandra Loibl SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Executive Creative Director
Christoph Bolender SERVICEPLAN HEALTH & LIFE GERMANY Creative Director
Dr. Sebastian Wolf SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Senior Copywriter
Franziska Stroehle SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Art Director
Matthias Jester-Pfadt SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Senior Art Director
Florian Trebus SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Account Director
Ricarda Jacob SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Accout Manager
Frank Graefe Eat Sleep and Design Artist

The Campaign

The idea was based on a strong insight: For an addict there is just one way: down. But support groups can really help. They can help to get back to the top. We brought this insight to life with a unique kind of ads. We created them by combining a special form of copy with unique illustrations. Both were able to capture the different stages of addiction and recovery in one and the same text or image. Our reverse poems speak from the addict’s perspective when read top-down. Yet, read bottom-up the same copy speaks from the cured addict’s perspective. Likewise, the illustrations showed both sides of the coin: addiction and recovery. The message: with the Blue Cross you can turn your life from negative to positive.

Creative Execution

We soon realized that reverse poems can perfectly capture the negative side of addiction and the positive side of recovery in one and the same text. Thus showing the two paths that one and the same life can take. Then, we worked on the details to make the impact even stronger. By using different styles of the whole font family, we made the typography become more fragile and weaker when read top-down and stronger and bolder when read bottom-up. We combined the texts with illustrations that were adequately adapted to the respective addiction. And each illustration was based on a unique interpretation of the mechanics of the Reverse Poems. Those two elements were the core of the design. Therefore, everything else was as reduced as possible. We decided to use only horizontal formats to give copywriting and illustration the space they deserve.

Indication of how successful the outcome was in the market

The Blue Cross gained a lot of attention – not only by means of paid media but also in earned PR. With this campaign, the art of reverse poems has been used like never before in an ad campaign. In the end website traffic increased by over 200%. And 80% more people suffering from addiction sought help at the Blue Cross – their first step to get back to the top.

The International Blue Cross is a worldwide health development organisation dedicated to caring for people harmed by alcohol and/or illicit drugs. Their motto is “Paths out of addiction.” With our Reverse Poems campaign we were able to show how these paths can look and feel like. We used print ads and posters in strategically chosen magazines and places, where we would find our target audience. It consisted in about 14.2 Million Germans with an at least risky drinking behaviour, 6.92 Million Germans conducting drug abuse, and 400,000 Germans who suffer from compulsive gambling. Our goal was to reach especially those people who are not yet addicted or have not yet hit the bottom to make them aware of the self-help offers of the Blue Cross. For each of these most prevalent addictions we created one specific campaign ad – with a specific poem and a specific illustration.