Form vs Function: AOK Health Insurance’s Custom Calendar

(click the image to enlarge!)

We’ve showcased some really creative promotional calendar designs in the past (see here, here, and here for some examples), and we’re kicking off the New Year with another one from AOK Health Insurance. For this promotion AOK wanted an attention-grabbing, high-quality calendar to advertise their online non-smoking program. In this case they were more concerned with form than function, and wanted to influence opinion leaders and decision makers in their target group with something innovative and visually-pleasing.

The custom calendar design they came up focused on a simple message: One year without cigarettes, and your lungs can breathe again. The high-gloss pages feature a jumble of calendar dates making up a lung shape, and each page also features laser-etched filigree patterns that make the next month partially visible. As you turn the page and get deeper into the year, the numbers begin to lighten in color and eventually almost fade entirely – a bold and unique way to show that quitting smoking leads to progressively healthier lungs with each passing month.

Some of you might be wondering what the point of this calendar is – after all, the dramatic effect limits the calendar’s functionality. While I normally criticize promotional products that sacrifice function for form, I think I’ll let this one slide. After all, the primary goal is to send a message about the benefits of quitting smoking over time, so a calendar is an appropriate billboard. If I was looking for some motivation I think I’d hang it on my wall despite the fact that I can’t really use it as a calendar.

What do you think – was it okay to sacrifice function for form in this case?

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