Partnering for a better community

VML is committed to giving back to the community in many different forms. One of the ways we do that is by putting our talents to work to create compelling and throught-provoking pro-bono work for local and national non-profit organizations. The mission of First Call is to reduce the impact of alcohol, drugs and addiction by providing quality resources to individuals, families and the community. First Call provides prevention and recovery services to over 30,000 individuals annually and is a key catalyst for building capacity among community addiction recovery, health care and behavioral health providers. 

Case study

If addiction is a choice, so is cancer.

The campaign that helped stop the shame surrounding drug and alcohol addiction.

Challenge

Convey that drug and alcohol addiction is a disease, not a choice.

Idea

What if we treated people with other diseases the way we treat people with addiction? To illustrate this point, we created online films that took the things people say to addicts and put them into the mouths of family members shaming a child with cancer and attacking a mother with Parkinson's. Viewers were driven to StopTheShame.info where they were forced to make a decision: Is addiction a choice or is it a disease?

Result

  • +500,000 views
  • An engagement rate of seven times the industry benchmark
  • 25% change in attitude from choice to disease