BC Centre for Disease Control

Chickenpox: Was This You?
In 2005, the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) identified that up to 7,500 healthcare workers in BC may be vulnerable to the varicella, or chickenpox, virus. Since the chickenpox virus is endemic to this continent, workers who have come from outside North America may not carry immunity, not having caught the virus as a child.

Our team was hired to design and launch a strategic awareness campaign targeted at a predominantly female casual worker, and which took into account varying English literacy rates in the target audience by relying heavily on imagery. We photographed children who represent the five to 10-year-old average age for chickenpox contraction, and who visually represent the demographics of our target audience (kids of mixed ethnic backgrounds). The children are wearing too-big healthcare worker clothing (implying they wanted to be a healthcare worker when they grew up), showing some skin exposed, and looking a little sad, as though they are sick. In subsequent retouching of the photos, chickenpox “pocks” were added to exposed skin showing, so that the children look like they have chickenpox.

A headline asks the question: Was this you? With a goal of having the reader/viewer “see themselves” in the photo. If their response is that they never looked like that, then a call to action is the next step. Call or visit your employee health department about a safe and free vaccine that can prevent chickenpox.

Copywriter: Jennifer Wah, ABC, Forwords Communication Inc.
Photographer: Perry Zavitz
Production: Spencer MacGillivray, MPA Communication Design Inc.
Printing: Rhino Printing, Nathen Printing