Using an innovative storytelling approach to raise awareness and empower.
When people think of addiction, gambling probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But problem gambling is serious and can derail unsuspecting people’s financial lives quickly, putting strain on relationships. To bring attention to the reality of gambling addiction, we partnered with the Minnesota Department of Human Services to tell the true story of one woman’s struggle and ultimate recovery.
During our interview with Terra Carbert, the subject of this piece, she took us back to her introduction to gambling as a child, mentioning how these early fond memories with family members sparked her interest in gambling. The loss and difficulties she experienced during the years that followed led her to rely on gambling as a distraction, protecting her from the heavy feelings she carried but didn’t want to face.
To tell this story most effectively, we chose a multidimensional medium known as “scrollytelling.” This tool brings a webpage to life by inviting interactive engagement from the viewer. As the reader scrolls through the webpage, short videos, gifs, audio clips, images, color and text are used to make the narrative real.
Instead of simply reading an article about the brief highs and excessive lows of compulsive gambling, we set the scene for how it truly feels to be consumed by gambling and the relief that recovery provides once you seek support.
By using scrollytelling and integrating a variety of creative tools, we were able to share the emotion, vulnerability and detail of Terra’s story in a captivating format. This created a unique level of relatability that speaks to others who may be in her situation, and a platform for education about problem gambling — which, as Terra explains, can be easy to hide and go unnoticed.
Terra’s story will serve as a lasting resource for Minnesotans, and already has a growing impact. See Terra’s story here.