Horizon Therapeutics and Area 23
Myths and stigma about gout have persisted for centuries, often in the form of cartoons lampooning gout patients. They’ve been drawn as louts — wealthy, overfed, gluttonous. Their swollen feet had become emblematic of what has long been seen as a disease of entitlement.
This campaign used those illustrations — often still found hanging in rheumatologists’ offices — to tell a different story. It takes many of those drawings and recreates them. Each one dismantles a myth. Instead of a wealthy man surrounded by his hard-drinking cronies, it shows a man of limited means. Instead of an image of an affected foot, it offers a heart, demonstrating the systemic nature of the disease. They also show Black men and women have a higher lifetime risk than white men and that family history plays a more significant role than diet.
With a budget of just $125,000, it set out to impact rheumatologists, with a goal of reaching the 250 top opinion leaders in the field. These pictures do more work than thousands of words. They make it clear that the “classic” gout images we’ve all seen perpetuate bias. That contributes to gout being underdiagnosed, underprioritized and undertreated, with negative patient outcomes.
The dramatic new images, made available through an online gallery, film, art prints and a picture book for doctors’ waiting rooms, are sparking a change. They’re creating more empathy. And they shift the culture of blaming the sufferer.
Debunking these subconscious biases got the attention of doctors, who are recognizing their blind spots. More than 80% of its target list has actively engaged with the campaign via sales reps or website engagements.
Alexion Pharmaceuticals and 21Grams
Myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease, is so rare some call it the “Snowflake Disease.” That set the stage for an alpine training video that spoofs training videos, while still giving sales reps all they need to market this medication. In just a few days of the site being live, 80% of sales reps had already completed all 10 modules, and 100% had passed on their first try.