Biogen and CDM New York  

Zac’s Play Day 

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a rare, genetically complex disease that can be hard for children to explain to family, friends and peers. Children are born with significant motor function limitations, but their brains function as well, if not better than, typically healthy children. They are often looked at by their peers with curiosity, but with very few kid-friendly disease-education tools out there, many kids simply don’t have the ability to explain their disease to others — a predicament that leaves many feeling both misunderstood and isolated. 

Zac’s Play Day is the story of a zebra going to the playground, but so much more. Because SMA severely affects motor function, many children use iPads to engage with the world. By leveraging e-reader software in its website and providing a downloadable PDF, the company was able to extend its reach to children who might not have the motor function needed to turn pages of a physical book. 

It also included a music video, where catchy lyrics and a fun beat elevated Zac to a cool and positive symbol for a very well-deserving community. The campaign also had banner ads, CRM email and a website update, with a total budget of $223,000.

Zac’s Play Day became not just a tool to explain SMA, but one that fostered empathy, inclusion and acceptance. Judges used words including “fantastic,” “brilliant” and “amazing” to describe its thoroughness and thoughtfulness. “This is why I work in this business,” explained one judge. “The industry needs more Zacs.”