In Spain, it’s resaca (to be flooded). In South Africa, it’s babalas (the morning after). In Finland, krapula (self-explanatory). Every culture has its own term for the hangover, and they form the basis for Hangovers of the World (Kalter der Welt), one of the winners of this year’s Red Dot Communication Design Awards.
The book is an advertisement for a German pharmaceutical company hoping to increase its brand presence among young people. Knowing that the number-two malady amongst them (after Bieber Fever) is the hangover, the company’s agency turned to Havas Worldwide and the street artist DXTR to come up with a way to promote their aspirin Thomapyrin as a cure. “It’s well-known as a reliable remedy for headaches, but not for its special anti-hangover-qualities,” explains DXTR, whose real name is Dennis Schuster.
Hangovers of the World was their answer, a 24-page book that outlines ten international hangovers and ten fantastical cures. To wit: fresh owl eggs in Germany, a half lemon in the armpit in Spain, and red wine mixed with garlic in France. Schuster did a series of fairly awesome wood-cut illustrations to go with the boozy taxonomy. If his style looks familiar, you may have seen it around the nets (or the street) from his exploits with The Weird, the pan-Europe street-art crew.
Bird beaks and myrrh may seem medically nonsensical, but they aren’t much worse than the old “hair of the dog that bit you,” a phrase that actually comes from the Medieval practice of putting hairs from the dog that bit you in your wound to cure rabies (seriously). Apparently, the book is working: After handing the pamphlet out to partygoers in Dusseldorf recently, Red Dot reports that sales of Thomapyrin rose by 35% in one week.