Oblatos is a neighborhood in Guadalajara with a high rate of substance abuse in young people. There have been previous addiction prevention campaigns that had been carried out in the area with limited success. Sarape Social approached the challenge differently. Utilizing an approach that included social marketing theory, they targeted 4 public high schools, instead of a broad, city-wide messaging blitz. Sarape Social worked with local specialists to identify the behavior they were trying to achieve as their product and identified relevant supporting research on the specific audience. They then involved the students and community to inform and shape the specific challenge and shape the messages.

The key background and approach involved:

There were three phases to this project. 


  1. Formed a team of psychologists who specialized in addiction. Also, we included marketers, publishers, designers and teachers. Social marketers lead the project.
  2. Researched addiction behaviors in Oblatos.
  3. Researched to identify the intervention area and visited high schools. Identified one for the pilot program. 


  1. Informative sessions and workshops with psychologists to inform students about the use of addictive substances.
  2. Workshops with students handled by designers, marketers, and publishers to conceptualize and design different campaigns.


  1. Workshops with students were coordinated by designers, marketers, a community manager and publishers to conceptualize and design the campaigns which incorporated the students. 
  2. 6 teams of students presented their campaigns to a jury in a final contest where parents teachers and people from Oblatos contributed. 
  3. All of this contributed to a winning campaign, which was produced by Sarape Social. 

Results from the project showed that : 

  • 2,000 people were impacted by this project. 
  • Students from Oblatos were able to recognize their potential to transform social problems using creativity and innovation. 
  • Students, parents and teachers were able to learn about the dangers of substance abuse. 
  • This project helped strengthen government-community relations.

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