Digitas Amsterdam

Don't Kill Mia


Using a game to warn people that heroin was being sold as cocaine in Amsterdam.


• W3 Awards Silver 2015: Game - Charitable Organizations

Reason to Be
Amsterdam: the city of tolerance and liberalism. However, in November 2014 somebody sold white heroin as cocaine to tourists. Three tourists died. And in a way only fitted to Amsterdam potential victims were warned via big digital screens on many corners of the city. The message read: Three tourists died. White heroin sold as cocaine. Be careful. This made world news. Digitas Amsterdam wanted to help and warn tourists as well. In our own way.

Our Idea
Who doesn’t know the scene in Pulp Fiction where Mia finds a bag of what she thinks is cocaine? When in fact, it’s Vincent Vega’s bag of heroine. She snorts and overdoses. Vincent saves her by plunging an adrenaline filled hypodermic needle deep into her chest. She survives. This scene inspired Don’t Kill Mia.

We wanted to reach and teach potential victims faster and broader using social media and gamification. Digitas Amsterdam created a game where players had to hit the red dot on Mia’s chest with the hypodermic needle. If they missed, Mia died. If they hit the mark, she survived.

Each player became part of the iconic movie scene and decided the outcome. And by redirecting people to the GGD page for more information we played a positive role in handling this problem.

Almost immediately after the launch, Don’t Kill Mia exploded in the media, both off- and online. There was no press release or budget, only a solid and socially engaged idea. Tweets and posts were shared in over 167 countries. In two days the game had 200.000 unique visitors who spend about a minute and a half on the page. And more importantly, it made people aware of the danger.