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Pixeldust was invited to produce and animate a series of anti-vaping web advertisements for The Maryland Department of Health. The Vape Experiment is an informative program conceived by the Maryland Department of Health in an effort to inform a new generation of tobacco users about the dangers of using electronic cigarettes (vaping). To help reach this audience in a fresh way, the Vape Experiment needed a fresh look and concept. The idea is that since not much is known about vaping, users of e-cigarettes are unwitting participants in a dangerous experiment with surprisingly scary results.


Information about the risks associated with smoking tobacco has been widely available for a long time now, and as a result of decades of research, it can be safely said that hardly anyone in Western countries picks up a cigarette without knowing the danger. However, today’s newest generation of teens and young adults are picking up a new habit: vaping. And unlike traditional cigarettes, not so much is known about the side-effects of using this new nicotine product.



The team used storyboards and visuals for three short experiments, advertisements which were adapted to fit desktop, mobile, and tablet formats. The style at hand contained illustrations, scribbles, and typewriting, looking like a page out of a mad scientist’s laboratory journal. The visuals are strikingly morbid, depicting a brain in a jar, lungs turning black with tar, and disembodied eyeballs floating in formaldehyde. 



To match the “mad scientist” aesthetic, Pixeldust’s animators implemented a low-frame rate approach, resulting in rugged, cartoony motion design.


In order to take the the ads to the next level, Pixeldust’s sound designers laid in a music track with a  fun, yet sinister tone – and combined it with subtle vaping sounds, coughs, and typewriter sound effects to complement the animations. 


If you’re looking to quit vaping or using tobacco products, the Pixeldust team invites you to text “READY” to 887-09 to enroll in Truth’s ‘This is Quitting’ program. ‘This is Quitting’ is a free program designed to help people quit vaping with plenty of tips, strategies, and support throughout the quitting process.