Recovery Brands


LIVES: Leveraging Impactful Videos to End Stigma

Create a 1-3 minute video to reduce the stigma surrounding addiction and inspire those struggling with the disease to seek treatment.

This challenge is closed


This challenge is closed



The Recovery Brands LIVES Challenge: Leveraging Impactful Videos to End Stigma


Recovery Brands is committed to helping individuals struggling with addiction get the care they need, and it starts by changing the way we talk about addiction. It’s time to end the stigma surrounding this devastating disease to encourage supportive conversations and productive steps toward help. 


The Problem 

In the United States 23.5 million individuals over the age of 12, or 1 out of 10 Americans, are addicted to alcohol and/or drugs. Yet only 11 percent of these individuals receive treatment. 

Current healthcare reform aims to address barriers to access and cost, yet public perception and stigma remain major obstacles for those who are struggling with addiction. Many people know they need medical care, but the guilt, shame, judgement and isolation experienced on a daily basis makes asking for help nearly impossible. 

Why should our friends and family dealing with substance use disorders be made to feel ashamed, trapped, and paralyzed to seek treatment for addiction? Would the same ever stand for someone diagnosed with diabetes? Imagine how many people could get the care they need to live healthy, meaningful lives if stigma wasn't in their way. The path toward a more accepting tomorrow must start today. But how? This is our challenge for you.

The Challenge

How can we inspire our friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers to seek treatment for their substance use disorders? How can we engage, educate and instill understanding in our society? We need a powerful message to catalyze this change and we know that amazing ideas can come from anywhere. What would that message look like to you?

Recovery Brands is excited to launch LIVES: Leveraging Impactful Videos to End Stigma, an incentive challenge that will inspire those struggling with addiction to seek treatment, while reducing the stigma associated with the disease. 

The challenge will award two $5,000 prizes (one submission is eligible for both awards) and the opportunity to be featured across Recovery Brands' flagship sites:

  1. The People's Choice Award ($5,000) will go to the video that receives the most votes by the public.
  2. The Judge's Choice Award ($5,000) will go to the video that recieves the most votes by a highly qualified panel of judges with personal and/or professional addiction treatment experience. 


Questions? Please reach out to and we'll get back to you!   

Challenge Guidelines are subject to change. Registered competitors will receive notification when changes are made, however, we highly encourage you to visit the Challenge page often to review updates. 

This challenge is sponsored by Recovery Brands


Here's How It Will Work

You will have three months to create a 1-3 minute video (multiple submissions per individual or team are permitted) that must meet two goals:

  1. Inspire individuals struggling with addiction to speak out and seek treatment
  2. Help reduce the stigma surrounding addiction and encourage compassion and open conversation about the disease

While the challenge is open, all videos will be viewable to the public for feedback (but not judging), allowing competitors to fine-tune their submissions until the deadline. After the submission deadline a select group of the Recovery Brands' staff will choose the top videos that will be in the running for the People's Choice Award as well as the Judge's Choice Award. 


The People's Choice Award will go to the video that receives the most votes by the public. The Judge's Choice Award will go to the video that receives the most amount of points from a panel of judges. The panel will judge the videos based on the criteria listed below, with impact and clarity holding the most value. 

Criteria Description Points
  • Were you emotionally moved by the video?
  • Do you look at addiction and those struggling with the disease in a new light?
  • Do you feel this video will make the audience look at addiction and those struggling with the disease in a new light?
  • Was this video unique and inspiring in regard to visual / audio qualities, the storyline, the connection with the audience and message delivery?
  • Was there a clear call to action / message?
  • Does the video align with the goals of the challenge?
  • Visual quality (framing, clarity, steadiness, color tones, lighting, resolution etc.)
  • Audio quality (clarity, volume)
  • Fits time limits


A Few Additional Rules

  • Who Can Participate: The challenge is open to any individual or group. To be eligible to compete, you must comply with all the terms of the challenge as defined in the challenge-specific agreement.
  • Voting Guidelines: All votes are subject to review. Any competitor using unfair methods to solicit votes will be automatically disqualified from the challenge.
  • Submissions: Submissions must be made online via the submission form on or before May 23, 2016 at 11:59 PM PT. The form will consist of a few short questions on the mission and creation of your video, which must be submitted via a link to a video-hosting site such as YouTube or Vimeo. You can make changes to your entry until the final submission deadline. No submissions will be accepted after this time and incomplete submissions will not be accepted for review. By participating in the challenge, each competitor agrees to submit only their idea. Any indication of "copying" amongst competitors is grounds for disqualification. 



Challenge Updates

LIVES Challenge Winners Announced!

Oct. 5, 2016, 12:50 p.m. PDT by Recovery Brands

Hi everyone, 

The time has finally come to announce our LIVES Challenge Winners! Join us in congratulating Tori Utley, our Judge's Choice Award recipient, and Sydney Johnson, our People's Choice Award recipient. 

To read more about these amazing women and view their winning videos, head on over to the Recovery Brands blog

It cannot go without saying thank you to each and every one of you who also participated in the Challenge or supported the cause along the way. We appreciate your time and effort given to help end the stigma!



Cast Your Votes Now!

Aug. 1, 2016, 11:05 a.m. PDT by Recovery Brands

Hi all, 

It's the time we've all been waiting for! Our LIVES Challenge finalists have been selected and for the next month, they'll be vying for votes from our official panel of judges as well as the public. Continue to help us eliminate the stigma by casting your public vote here:, and spreading the word. 

Please note: each person only gets one vote, and you must have a Facebook account to vote. Public voting ends August 25 at 11:59pm PT. The video with the most public votes at that time will be selected as the People's Choice Award winner. 

Thank you to everyone who participated in and supported our Challenge! We received so many wonderful submissions and the passion you all share in ending the stigma around addiction is inspiring and encouraging. Please help us in continuing the fight toward a better tomorrow.



5 Hours Until LIVES Challenge Deadline

May 23, 2016, 7:24 p.m. PDT by Recovery Brands

Hi all, 

Just a few hours until the LIVES Challenge deadline! Make sure to get your submissions in before 11:59pm PT! We're here to answer any questions at 



1 DAY LEFT! LIVES Challenge Deadline is May 23

May 22, 2016, noon PDT by Recovery Brands

Hi all, 

We have just a day and a half left until the deadline for video submissions (May 23 at 11:59 pm PT). Please let us know ( if you're encountering any technical issues or have any other questions relating to the submissions. We're so excited to see the wonderful videos you've all been working so hard on!

Here's to finding the next great PSA around addiction that will end stigma and inspire others to seek treatment! 



4 Days Until the LIVES Challenge Deadline

May 19, 2016, 5:15 p.m. PDT by Recovery Brands

Hi all, 

Our time is quickly running out and the submission deadline is right around the corner! With that said, we have one last judge we'd like to introduce you - Patty Powers. 

Like many of our other judges, Patty’s personal story around addiction empowered her to help others find health, happiness, and freedom in their recovery. When she’s not helping clients navigate their sobriety, she's writing personal essays on addiction, hosting live video discussions via In The Rooms, and speaking at community workshops and recovery events. Get to know more about Patty in this week’s judges Q&A.

Remember, if you have any questions about your video submissions, please email us at! We're happy to help.