Augmented Reflection

Project: General Anxiety Disorder “Augmented Reflection”

Category: Experiential

Client: Pfizer & Anxiety UK

Partner agency: Red Door Unlimited

The Brief

Create an innovative experience-based solution to raise awareness of Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and create a call-to-action to encourage the public to talk to their GP about any concerns they might have regarding GAD.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a long-term condition affecting one in fifty of us at some point in our lives. Despite increasing awareness among the general public about mental health issues, GAD remained a relatively unheard of condition among the age group in which GAD usually first develops – twenty to twenty-nine year olds.

Our Solution

We created an eye-catching Augmented Reality experience with the added twist of using one-way mirrors and motion sensors to catch people off-guard and stop them in their tracks.

During insight research sessions people affected by GAD gave us their descriptions of how the symptoms felt to them, comparing it to “a storm in my head”, “Edvard Much’s The Scream painting”, or “a dementor from Harry Potter gripping its arms around you” so we used those vivid patient perspectives as the inspiration for our Augmented Reality animations.

People walking near the installation would see a row of seemingly normal mirrors, but as they approach the mirror a motion sensor triggered the 3D animated graphics to spring into life and shine through the one-way mirror, surrounding the person’s reflection with storm clouds, lightning and swirls of bats that follow the person’s reflection as they walked, mimicking some of the descriptions patients had given us of how they feel when affected by GAD.

The installation was first deployed at Manchester University Fresher’s Fair, raising empathy levels and increasing awareness of GAD among the student population. Pfizer, as a sponsor of the activity, also raised their profile as an innovative potential employer of future graduates. We then produced a short film of the event, emphasising some of the campaign messages, and it was used as the central asset for a supporting social media campaign.


  • 9,200 student engagements in six hours
  • 460 potential GAD patients reached (one in 20)
  • 37 filming consent forms signed (no mean feat!)
  • Total YouTube views after first event – 22,579 – Total tweets after first event – 11,629.