The dangers of prescription opioid addiction highlighted in newly launched ‘reach for the facts’ campaign via Showpony Advertising

The dangers of prescription opioid addiction highlighted in newly launched ‘reach for the facts’ campaign via Showpony Advertising

Showpony Advertising has just released a new campaign created to alert South Australians to the dangers of prescription opioid addiction.


In America, it’s described as the ‘Opioid Epidemic’ and claims one life every 22 seconds. And while we’re not there yet, we are seeing increasing signs of prescription opioid addiction becoming a significant social issue here in Australia.

Currently, over 3.1 million Australians are taking prescription opioids yearly. Often prescribed to manage injury-related pain, many users, unaware of the risks associated with this highly-addictive drug, descend into cycle of opioid addiction without even knowing why. The results can often be fatal: in 2016, there were more prescription opioid-related deaths than road fatalities in Australia.


Showpony’s ‘Reach for the facts’ campaign has been executed across broadcast, outdoor, direct and digital channels. Designed to drive traffic to a dedicated website that along with facts about the risks of long-term opioid usage, has a simple ‘dependency test’ that visitors can take. The test generates a PDF of the results that an individual can share with their doctor as a prompt for further discussion around their relationship with opioids.

Says Parris Mesidis, creative director, Showpony: “We realised early on that if we really wanted to make a difference, we needed to tackle the problem from every conceivable angle.

“We developed specific assets to target not just the people taking opioids, but their families and the health care sector. Our goal was to create as many opportunities for timely and coordinated intervention as possible.”

In addition to the central broadcast and outdoor executions, Showpony created a series of digital assets designed to target specific groups.

Says Mesidis: “One group we needed to reach through social channels was injured workers with low-level literacy skills, so we created a spot that used emojis to deliver a surprisingly powerful narrative about the descent into opioid addiction.”


Reflecting the complex and far-reaching nature of this growing social issue, a diverse group of concerned organisations ranging from government, insurance and employer groups through to pharmaceutical and medical associations, have thrown their support behind this ambitious campaign.

Says Julia Oakley, executive general manager, ReturnToWorkSA: “We are really pleased with the way Showpony have addressed the brief and hope that the creative resonates with the audience to achieve our objectives. This issue is so important that more than a dozen organisations have collaborated to develop and support this campaign to inform the South Australian community.”

Showpony Advertising is an independent creative agency with offices in Melbourne and Adelaide, and clients including Tour Down Under, SATC, Bridgestone Australia, Cadbury, Pascall, HomeStart Finance, Flinders University, SA Health and Coopers.