Sarah Coleman and ZzzQuil Prepare for Drift Off
Vicks enlisted Sarah Coleman to create a Facebook campaign for its new sleep-aid product, ZzzQuil. "It was up to me to decide on and experiment with type styles, but the art directors did have a clear vision of how the finished pieces would look," explained Coleman. "They had particular ideas about how the words would flow and be encapsulated (or otherwise). The chalk look was in there from the beginning, and the copy was set from the start."
Using a hand-soaked purple ink background, Coleman put together a series of iterations: "It's always the things that look the simplest that take the longest, and I think I've only had an exception to that rule once in my whole career!" The first ad she tackled, for example, "was about switching off your electronic devices before trying to sleep, so I went to straight to 8-bit type, Atari screens, phone screens, pixels, old computer fonts, calculator digits, and so on, to create a visual version of the sort of hectic buzz that can be in your head if you stay connected right up until you close your eyes – which is like me, every night. Frankly, I thought this was an excellent response! But the client didn't agree. It happens! So we calmed it right down."
The ZzzQuil series marked Coleman's first social networking-only advertisements. "The same amount of work goes into an online ad as a billboard, from my perspective," she noted. "Some camps treat it as important and high-value as a campaign that involves all the media buying and 'real estate' of print and billboards."