An Emotional Campaign for Recovery Shows the Painful Cycle of Starting Day 1 Over and Over

Denver addiction center hopes to break the cycle

The powerful reality of battling addiction. Face It Together
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When it comes to battling addiction, so much of the focus tends to remain on identifying certain behaviors, understanding how those behaviors affect the user and their loved ones, then getting the necessary professional help.

Rarely do we see a truthful depiction of the journey to sobriety and that, to some extent, is understandable: it can be difficult and downright heartbreaking to watch. But the truth is that while achieving sobriety is tough, it is entirely possible with the right (and necessary) support system. With that in mind, a new campaign titled Break the Cycle from Denver’s Face It Together addiction support center and creative agency LRXD aims to shift the focus from sobriety itself to the supportive tools necessary to maintain wellness.

Break the Cycle takes a few different approaches to illustrating the oscillating nature of recovery. In “Hey Mom” and “Day One,” both spots—30 seconds and 15 seconds, respectively—men document their first days of sobriety via dashboard confessionals. While they both start out hopeful, we begin to witness a gradual, highly emotional deterioration of the process, likely rife with the same setbacks and slip-ups that are fairly common during recovery.

Other spots take an even simpler approach by centering animated neon signs that alternate messaging with each flash—“Sober” quickly becomes “Not Sober,” and “Am I helping?” alternates to “Am I enabling?”

They’re quick, but each ad packs a powerful message that captures the reality of recovery: it’s difficult, often times messy, and nearly impossible to face alone.

Break the Cycle is particularly interesting because the messaging appears to be aimed more toward those within the support system rather than the person with the addiction. Creative director Jamie Reedy emphasized their aim to include everyone in the process of recovery. “We hope to move in, at least in the beginning, to get more people—loved ones, employers and those with addiction problems—to simply say, ‘Help me find a better way!’”

Break the Cycle launched in Colorado and South Dakota to coincide with the launch of the facility’s new 8,000-square-foot flagship center. It will run through the end of the year on broadcast and connected TV, digital and social media platforms.


Agency: LRXD
Creative Director: Jamie Reedy
Associate Creative Director/Copywriter: Ashley Rutstein
Senior Art Director: Kelsey Steffes
Copywriter: Emma Bryant
Designers: Silvia Skinner, Tyler Merritt
Chief Digital Officer: John Gilbert
Director/Editor: Jonas Mayabb
Media Director: Samantha Johnson
Digital Marketing Manager: Clayton Warwick
Account Director: Becca Hade
Account Manager: Sandy Hazzard
Chief Communications Officer, Face It Together: Erika Batcheller

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Shannon Miller is a writer, podcast creator and contributor to Adweek.