Facing Addiction hacks Instagram, collaborates with celebs in a campaign signed by DDB New York

Ads, Creativity

Non-profit Facing Addiction launched a star-studded Instagram campaign this week in an effort to change the conversation around addiction. Created by DDB New York, the campaign uses the reflective nature of smartphone screens – along with statistics on addiction – to bring attention to the fact that you, or many people you know, are struggling with addiction.

The video ad is a black image, something that stands out in Instagram’s world of beautiful imagery. Before it can be dismissed as a mistake, it draws the viewer in with supers that read, “Look closer.” That’s when the viewer realizes that they are looking at their own reflection. It concludes with the staggering stat, “1 in 7 will see the face of addiction.”

Celebrities including Demi Lovato, Gary Owen, Danny Trejo, Jesse Joyce, Tara Conner, and Joe Walsh have all joined in the movement and donated their selfie by posting the video in its place. Their involvement, in addition to spreading awareness, is an important step towards abolishing the taboo topic of talking openly about addiction.

The Instagram campaign is just the beginning of Facing Addiction’s effort to help people look at addiction, and addicts, in a different light and to raise money to help them get the treatment they need.

Facing Addiction’s goal is to stop the silence and change the conversation around addiction (…) Rather than shunning those struggling with addiction we want to support them and celebrate the fact that 23 million brave Americans are in recovery today. This campaign uses a simple yet powerful creative idea – the black image of a smartphone – to catch viewers by surprise and get them to think about something that is far too easily ignored in society today.

Chris Brown,

President & CEO DDB NY

Individuals often internalize false stereotypes about who becomes addicted to alcohol and other drugs. The truth is that 45 million Americans are directly impacted by addiction, and it is time for all of us to reflect on the gravity of that number and ask ourselves what we can do to help (…) Facing Addiction is so excited DDB’s team was able to create such a powerful campaign that challenges people to think deeper about the most pressing health crisis in America.

Greg Williams,

Co-Founder Facing Addiction


Facing Addiction is a national non-profit organization dedicated to finding solutions to the addiction crisis by unifying the voice of the over 45 million Americans and their families directly impacted by addiction.

DDB Worldwide is one of the world’s largest and most awarded advertising and marketing networks. In 2012 DDB was named Advertising Network of the Year by Campaign, as well as Agency of the Year and Digital Agency of the Year by Strategy magazine. At the prestigious 2012 Cannes International Festival of Creativity, DDB won 82 Lions, the most ever for the network. In addition, The Gunn Report has listed DDB as one of the Top 3 Global Networks for the last 12 years. The agency’s clients include Volkswagen, McDonald’s, Unilever, Mars, Johnson & Johnson, and Exxon Mobil, among others. Founded in 1949, DDB is part of the Omnicom Group and consists of more than 200 offices in over 90 countries with its flagship office in New York, NY.