Pill Testing Australia and Dylan Harrison create ad to ‘bring humanity back’ to the debate

Pill Testing Australia has collaborated with director Dylan Harrison and his company Hooligan Collective to launch a one-minute film promoting the benefits of testing young people’s pills at music festivals. Harrison said that for many young people, taking drugs is a rite of passage, and he hoped the ad would bring some humanity back to the conversation.

The ad shows a young man feeling pressure to jump off a cliff into the unknown waters below. As his anxiety and uncertainty mounts, and he feels the pressure from those around him, a woman appears to offer him assistance.

The film then transitions to the reality the man is facing – having his pills tested at a festival. He is shown to be grateful for the offer.

Harrison – who was executive creative director of DDB Sydney until 2014, when he departed to pursue his directing career – said the statistics around avoidable drug-related casualties in Australia are tragic.

“Working with Pill Testing Australia, we sought to create a social asset to drive conversation, targeting decision makers, policy makers and parents, rather than young people themselves,” he said.

“For many people, drug taking is not a crime, but a rite of passage. Hopefully this film helps bring some humanity back to the conversation, reminding audiences of their impressionability and vulnerability.”

Mumbrella understands the ad’s full media schedule is still being determined, dependent upon partner support, but it is currently running online and on social.

The young man’s dilemma: What’s below the surface?

Tim Harvey, head of marketing for Pill Testing Australia, praised Harrison’s creativity, and his ability to present a relevant and strong message.

“The fact that members of the Australian public like Dylan feel so motivated to play an active role in advocating for pill testing to be introduced, is incredibly rewarding for all the public health practitioners and volunteers involved with our work,” Harvey said.

“The Australian model of pill testing has been designed to interact with people who are about to consume an unknown substance, and this has been captured so poignantly by Dylan,” he continued. “We are looking forward to sharing his incredible work with our stakeholders and the general public through our social media platforms and website.”

The film launched on Friday.

Client: Pill Testing Australia
Head of marketing: Tim Harvey
Production Company: Hooligan Collective
Director: Dylan Harrison
Producer: Ash McLeod
DOP: Jason White
Post-production: Vandal
Colourist: Daniel Pardy
Sound design: Nigel Crowley
Music composer: Stephen Francis


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