#NOpioid Campaign Installs Vending Machine in Chicago

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Drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50. The United States has the unfortunate title of having the highest percentage of drug-related deaths in the world. A drastic increase in prescribed opioid-based painkillers and the rise of fentanyl has created the worst public health crisis in American history.

Medical cannabis activists have argued that the plant is a safer alternative to opioids when it comes to pain management. These individuals and groups believe that cannabis should be considered as part of the solution in slowing the deadly painkiller epidemic.

Inspired to make a statement, medical cannabis company Cresco Labs teamed up with Chicago-based agency Tom, Dick & Harry Creative Co. to launch the #NOpioid campaign in August of 2018. The campaign featured a pop up vending machine installation in downtown Chicago with big letters on the side reading “Got pain? Get relief!” and filled with medical cannabis bottles. Instead of opioid prescriptions, each bottle contained educational notes in praise of marijuana. Pedestrians were able to interact with the machine.

The pop-up was designed to spread awareness of Cresco Lab’s “Opioid Prescription Exchange program” or COPE, which encourages patients to consider marijuana over opioid prescriptions for pain management.

The notes inside contained a message about COPE and a link to a unique landing page where those interested could learn more.

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TDH Creative also launched a social media campaign that utilizes the hashtag #NOpioid, which encourages people to tell their own personal stories of replacing opioids with medical cannabis. These stories were used as “NObituaries”, stories of patients surviving illnesses such as cancer without opioids.

This pop up was especially timely, as the vending machine was installed the day after Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed a new law that allows medical cannabis to be used as a replacement for opioid pain medication. Cresco Labs successfully made a statement and aligned themselves with an important cause through this campaign.

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