Agency Releases Guerilla Marketing Project to Raise Awareness of AAPI Hate Crimes

By Kyle O'Brien 

Independent creative agency Anchor Worldwide has gone guerrilla on pharmacies around New York City to raise awareness of—and combat the spread of—Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) hate crimes in New York.

The agency has unleashed an art-meets-guerrilla marketing project made of hundreds of fake pill boxes that have been planted in pharmacies throughout the city—in areas where hate crimes have taken place.

The reason for the project arose because, during the pandemic, the rate of AAPI hate crimes spiked 300%. And while vaccines arrived to fight Covid-19 and infections declined, incidences of AAPI racism have not decreased accordingly. The “Cure for Racism: AAPI Formula” masquerades as a seemingly new pharma product that purports to end racism with a pill. On closer inspection of the pharmaceutically styled pill box, people learn that the only real cure for racism is love, compassion, introspection, empathy, courage and conscience.

Fine print on the box reads: “There is no recommended dosage of anti-racism treatment. Only learning and understanding can help. If you are experiencing racist thoughts or behavior and feel increasingly violent towards others, just stay home and rest. Forever. No one wants racists out on the city streets. We all belong here.”

Additionally, mock ads as wild postings are being placed on city streets in impacted communities. Headlines tout this new “Cure for Racism” and how you can “Feel less racist, Fast!” A QR code on the posters and the pill boxes connects curious viewers with the site where they can learn more about how they can help.

“We wanted to use an unconventional delivery mechanism to share our anti-racism message—because racism really is a kind of a disease in the way that it spreads and infects people’s minds,” said Anchor Worldwide chief creative officer Aaron Sedlak in a release. “While we have found ways to prevent and treat Covid-19, AAPI hate crimes have continued unabated. So when art director Kevin Bae proposed a project to support, an organization devoted to combatting AAPI racism, we as an agency immediately embraced it.”


CEO: Sebastian Eldridge

CCO: Aaron Sedlak

CPO/Head of Production: Saxon Eldridge

CD/Writer: Jeremy Leder

ACD/Art: Aria McManus

Art Director: Sang Young (Kevin) Bae