Don't be a creeper

Stefan Sagmeister came to our college October 5th. Before he arrived, he issued a challenge- "Touch someone's heart with design." We decided to take up his challenge in Concepts class. Our design had to touch someone in any way- make them happy, sad, moved, or angry, etc.- but it had to be someone at RIT.

I worked with a group involving myself, Sarah Pelz, Christina McAndrew, and Rachel Poulin. Our solution was to address the "creeper" problem at RIT. Due to being a tech school and having a large male-dominated population, every female student has a story about someone exhibiting creepy or socially unacceptable behavior - aka "creepin' "- towards then freshman year. Most of this is unintentional- the "creeper" just doesn't realize they are doing something wrong. In order to make these "creepers" understand what's what, we decided to create a campaign with the goal of creeping people out. By exhibiting creepy behavior ourselves, people viewing the campaign would understand what exactly is creepy and would avoid doing it to others.

We decided to take a humorous approach as "creepin' " is not as serious as outright stalking, more like mild awkward behavior. For that reason, we chose the slogan "don't be a creeper". We created our character, "The creeper", and positioned him so he is creepin' over our message. This logo became the basis for most of our campaign.

The most successful part of our campaign was on facebook. We found that facebook was involved in most of the "creeper" stories we heard from other female students. So we created a profile for our creeper, which you can view here, and then went around exhibiting the creepiest behaviour we could think of. The reactions were amazing.

While the people in on the joke (our classmates) found it hilarious, we got anger and confusion from people who had no idea what was going on. We truly creeped them out.

To back up our online campaign, we created stickers to place around the dorms- our target location as most of the "creepin' " goes on freshman year, while people are still figuring things out. These stickers were to remind people to not be a creeper and were clear so they could be placed anywhere.

To go along with the stickers, we created a poster to hang in the common areas of the dorms (lounge, elevator, etc). This way, people who see the stickers would be able to make the connection to the poster and read up more on what our message was. The poster contained a list called "You might be a creeper if....", humorously explaining behavior that is actually really creepy and shouldn't be done.

The poster also contains the contact information for a woman's organization on campus that can help you if you are really being stalked.

We also created cards to place under dorm doors and out on the quarter mile. The cards had one "you might be a creeper if..." fact and the contact information for the on-campus woman's organization.

The guerrilla marketing part of our campaign involved placing "The creeper", without his message, in unexpected places to creep people out. We did this with small clear stickers and larger paper cut-outs. We placed these all over the art building the night before Sagmeister visited. People are still finding them.

We also placed information at the computer labs to remind people not to be a creeper when they go online.

We were later told that Sagmeister enjoyed our project and even jokingly nudged our teacher while she explained the concept of personal space. Excellent.


(click to see the colors in their true glory)