Award-Winning Short Spanish Language Novelas Highlighting Issues Surrounding Opioid Epidemic in an Engaging and Memorable Way




A collaboration with PK Public Relations and Invisible City Designs


In 2014 PK Public Relations developed the “Dose of Reality” public health campaign to address the rising mortality overdose rates in New Mexico and bring awareness to teens about the dangers of prescription painkillers. Reaching at-risk audiences, the messages of prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery are conveyed in an informative and engaging way. These successful campaigns have previously covered topics including safe use, storage and disposal, and use of naloxone to prevent overdose deaths. As a part of their current campaign, we were asked to produce six 30-second animated novelas and one 15-second novela to reach New Mexico’s Spanish speaking community.

Because the topic of opioid addiction is very serious, creating a light-hearted animation that evokes the telenovela genre (which resonates strongly with the Spanish-speaking community) was a big challenge. But we understood that if we could pull off this idea it would be very memorable and capture the attention of our intended audiences. We did this by creating a style that was both artistic and easy to digest.


We were able to create a collection of compelling mini stories that use dramatic storytelling to capture the viewer’s attention. We knew the telenovela genre would strongly resonate with and pique the interest of Spanish speaking audiences. The result was especially effective with the addition of music by Carlos Medina and narration by Jeff Nelson. Through this layered conceptualization of a mini telenovela, we were able to create something that our target audience would recognize as a message specifically made for them. Given the heavy subject matter, we created something light-hearted and memorable. The simplicity of the blue and yellow animations were visually distinctive and would stand apart from other ads as well as create continuity throughout the mini episodes. Each segment not only entertained with dramatic storytelling but also wove into the storylines practical and memorable microlessons on dealing with specific opioid and painkiller related occurrences. Some of the topics included were how to dispose of medication and what to do when someone is seemingly overdosed. The series was well-received and won several awards as well as media coverage in local news outlets throughout New Mexico for its inventiveness at finding new ways to reach the Latino population, a community that historically has been underserved by public health communications and campaigns.