Count gout as one of the world’s most misunderstood diseases. Sufferers of the ailment, a form of inflammatory arthritis that can develop in patients who have high levels of uric acid, may endure extreme pain in joints when needle-like crystals build up. They can also suffer tenderness, localized warmth and swelling. It’s no fun.
Once considered a disease of affluence brought on by overindulgence in foods like organ meats and red wine, gout is now better understood and controlled with medication. But the absence of shooting pain and sore toes doesn’t mean the ailment is out of the body, or that uric acid levels have returned to normal.
That was the thought behind Horizon’s Gout Lies campaign, which can be found at GoutLies.com. Horizon describes the website and campaign as “a mix of provocative visuals, expert videos and clinical data.” Horizon partnered with Area 23 and Lightfarm to create the images.
We especially like the visuals, which riff on old Soviet-style socialist realism, and work on more than one level.
Few things exhort people to greater activity or attentiveness than the thought of a hobnailed boot crashing down on them, as one of the posters show. But what’s interesting about the series — beside the well-rendered graphic work — is the fact that the posters perpetuate a myth.
“Stomp out the flare and gout’s not there,” exhorts the poster, incorrectly as it turns out, in much the same way Soviet posters that urged people to better living through higher tractor quotas were incorrect. Taken alone, the message in the posters could be misconstrued. When combined with the medical graphics and MD videos, the campaign’s message is clear, and driven home succinctly and with verve.