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  • Writer's pictureJolynnH

|Illustrator|"Medication" Advertisement 2023

Updated: Jan 18, 2023

One quality I am proud of is the ability to find humor in life, which often comes after the realization, "Wait, that doesn't make sense."

Let me explain. I believe most American have seen or used DayQuil and NyQuil before. They're the cold medication that provides throat relief and helps with symptoms. I, too, use them all the time whenever I feel a cold coming up, all and all that makes sense. It wasn't until I saw the advertisement for ZzzQuil and saw them on shelves next to each other that I started wondering why. Why is ZzzQuil one of the products made by Vicks that normally produce cold relief products, and most importantly, why is it in that specific packaging that makes it looks like an addition to DayQuil and NyQuil? From the packaging to the name, it genuinely doesn't make sense to me.


What cracks me up is its catchy catchphrase, "Fall Asleep Fast." As someone who has suffered from insomnia since middle school, I have shared experiences with over-the-counter sleeping aids. When my friend said, " they just put the sleepy juice from NyQuil in a bottle," I laughed so hard that it inspired me to create this short project with Adobe Illustrator.


As I said, I tried to find humor in life, including some of my most miserable moments. Insomnia, as part of the depression symptom, had brought me so much misery in life. Seeing it advertised with a cute catchphrase proved that the pharmaceutical industry is a business, and when suffrage became profitable, they would gladly strip away the humanity in it.


This project plays around with the idea, "What if all my prescription medications have cute little catchphrases?"

The first row is taken from the actual product packaging, only changing the product name slightly to embrace still the humor of the series. The second row is my attempts to capitalize on prescription medications that I have had experience with.


Another thing that made me laugh when researching for this project is when I looked up what "Quil" in all the names stands for. Tranquility. Such an elegant word, I thought to myself. Especially when it comes to marketing, it is such a smart way to say that our product not only relieves your symptoms, it brings peace and calmness to your life.


I'll gladly give my card information for two liquid capsules of tranquility. Because besides all the jokes I'm making, isn't peace what everyone wants? In a capitalistic society, everything can be made profitable. Take mental health, for example. Products like self-help books and life coaching programs target a vulnerable population and capitalize on what is sometimes their cry for help. It makes mental stability a luxury that only people with resources and money can obtain. And when the well-being of people is selective, the well-being of the whole society is jeopardized. This might be a project I created from a good laugh at my local grocery store, but it is a major crisis we are facing. As designers, we need to take responsibility for what and who we create for. When we design against consumerism, we are designing for humanity.


[ insert issue here ] Liquid Capsules to Tranquility.


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