Jenna Billman Big Deal! So What?

  • Tauira / Student
    Jenna Billman
  • Kaiako / Lecturers
    George Hajian, Meighan Ellis
Judge's comments:

So good the judges stole the stickers! A fresh solution that understood the niche target market and succeeded in a design solution with clever language, quirky illustrations and a clear message.


Why is it we live in a world that is so diverse, yet we are constantly judged if we don’t follow the ‘norms’ of society?

As culture evolved, society has developed countless expectations on the way life is supposed to be lived. Reinforced by religious views, traditions, personal influences, and popular culture, growing up in the 21st century provided added challenges for those trying to establish their identities and find their way in the world. These expectations have influenced decision making and increased anxiety of one’s social status and acceptance, ultimately losing a “sense of self.”

Social normality defines our behavioural patterns and can be responsible for impacting the way we adapt to different social environments. Behaving this way enables us to assess the situation and respond how we feel is expected of us. We fear negative evaluation from others if we don’t match their viewpoint. It’s this fear that can develop or accelerate social anxiety, resulting in people avoiding social situations all together.

Through truth, empathy, and strategic communication, this project investigates how a campaign on defying society’s expectations can raise awareness and have a positive influence on mental health. It achieves this to create a sense of inclusivity, relieve the stress of judgemental behaviour, and act as a voice for those afraid of speaking up. As such, it strives to create a new perspective on expectations, visualising an opportunity for a new ‘norm’ to be defined.

‘Big Deal! So What?’ uses a playful tone of voice to create an approachable solution to a topic people are hesitant to talk about. Alongside the bold ‘confessions’, humour is adopted through the illustrations depicting a “role play”, acting as an unbothered and content response to the judgement held; a sarcastic “big deal, so what?” moment. Accompanying this, through copywriting and colour, a loud and proud voice is communicated as the design stands out amongst an urban environment, like the inexperienced supposedly stand out amongst society.

The campaign uses a variety of touch-points to gain wider reach. Using interactive elements (such as stickers and wristbands) and digital platforms (such as a website and social media), these were carefully curated to directly target the audience. The tactility of these elements, most predominately the stickers, became an important way of communicating a connection between strangers. The stickers enable the campaign to travel wide and be seen across multiple platforms. The posters in which these stickers are housed acts as an infographic of inclusivity – the more stickers taken, the more “normal” this experience becomes.

‘Big Deal! So What?’ encourages diversity to flourish. It grows confidence to destigmatise inexperience, decreases social anxiety, and result in a reinvented FOMO; Finally Over Missing Out.