Centron's Letty Albarran talks ads that get personal

How well do we know the people we call patients? We know about their diseases and their treatments; we map out their patient journeys and we sometimes even know their genotypes. But how well do we understand all that they face upon diagnosis?

The campaigns showcased below move us and connect us to the patient experience at a very personal level. They remind us just how much is on the line for patients seeking treatment…and make us care.

Letty Albarran is EVP and creative director at Centron.


See also: 4 trends with the potential to change behavior in the patient journey





Campaign: Pediatric Oncology Series
Organization: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Partner: Humans of New York

This social-media partnership between a hospital and a photographer showcased searing portraits of children with cancer. Through its raw, authentic narratives, we are moved to feel and to understand a little more deeply the full experience of cancer — right from the moment the word “cancer” enters a family's reality. These stories stay with you — and for people like me, guide our work in oncology. Whether we're developing a patient piece or a scientific narrative, I think of these children, their families, and their care teams.



Campaign: Breathless Choir
Company: Philips
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Group U.K.

When every breath is a challenge, the most basic activity becomes a struggle. But what if you could give back something that was lost? What if you could teach people with lung diseases to sing again? What if you could create a breathless choir that takes center stage at the Apollo Theater? Well, it happened, and in this campaign we see it all come together. With every breath taken at the Apollo, we understand the importance of believing that disease doesn't mean the end of aspiring and accomplishing.



Campaign: NTM Facts
Company: Insmed
Agency: Area 23

NTM? We may not know about this disease, but we immediately understand what it feels like to have nontuberculous mycobacteria. Coupled with patient quotes, the chosen illustrative style effectively highlights the dark isolation that can come with NTM. It drives you to find out more. On an unbranded site, Donna and other actual patients tell their stories and share the reality of living with a disease that is not well known or understood.



Campaign: Erbitux: See the Difference
Company: Merck KGaA
Agency: McCann Health London

We're always talking about the statistical significance of primary and secondary endpoints. This Erbitux spot goes beyond the numbers and illustrates the human significance of a rational, quantitative measure. By simply focusing on a very intimate human reaction — and doing so without words — the spot helps us understand the real significance of tumor shrinkage data.



Campaign: N=You
Company: Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly
Agency: Area 23

Given the choice, would healthcare professionals follow the recommendations they make to their patients? An experiment in empathy staged at the annual American Diabetes Association meeting put this to the test. Stairs or escalators? Veggies or brownies? People with diabetes face these choices every day — and, for a moment at a convention, HCPs did too. Kudos to the client/agency team for making empathy part of the discussion at a scientific/medical event.



Campaign: Topographical Model of MS: 3D Disease Simulation
Organization: Pro-bono collaboration with Dr. Stephen Kreiger
Agency: Harrison and Star

Multiple sclerosis is a lifelong condition that can be unpredictable and disabling. This app, which depicts the central nervous system in MS as an Olympic-size pool, drives a deeper understanding of how underlying disease progression may impact the emergence of symptoms. It gets high marks for laying out the science behind the concept and the engagement level of the tool, and for attempting to realize the potential to help patients understand more completely what is happening below the surface.