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The MSunderstood Café

basics
Industry: Pharmaceutical
Media:Cyber
Market:Ireland
Style: Minimalism
descriptioncnen
Synopsis
Situation: In 2017, Ireland had the worst access to new and innovative medicines compared to any other country in Western Europe due to reimbursement delays by the government. MS is the most common neurological disease of young adults in Ireland affecting the motor, sensory and cognitive functioning of the body. Due to access delays, people with MS in Ireland are waiting for life-changing medicines that people in other European countries can already access. Brief: Address access challenge by galvanizing the public and political stakeholders to demand speedier access to medicines and increase awareness of the impact of living with MS. Objectives: • Ensure the Irish public understands the critical and immediate need for access to new medicines • Propel access to the top of the political agenda • Empower patients to be part of the conversation • Raise awareness and understanding of MS in an impactful and meaningful way
Strategy
Target audience (consumer demographic/individuals/organisations) • Government officials and policy representatives including the Minister for Health; Parliamentarians from each political party; the Health Service Executive (HSE). • People with MS and their families • Those affected by access delays and their wider networks Approach • Partnered with the national patient group, MS Ireland, and engaged its community networks • Research was conducted which showed the public support for access to medicines • Secured highly visible location to ensure high footfall • Agreed most impactful interactions to mimic MS for Café production • Engaged with political and policy stakeholders to make them aware of the Café • Media relations and social strategy amplified the ‘noise’ and awareness around the activation • www.PatientsDeserveBetter.ie created as information resource and tool for constituents to contact their political representative • Paid promotion on social raise awareness of Café, video and drive traffic to website
Relevancy
The MSunderstood Café gave customers a unique taste of the daily challenges faced by people living with MS. Everything in the experiential pop-up Café was designed to mimic the symptoms of MS, creating a challenging – and often disorientating - experience. The experience was co-created with people with MS and MS Ireland (national patient group). Hidden cameras captured customers’ reactions to items such as blurred menu boards, unsteady floors, heavy furniture. As customers left, they were given information on MS and encouraged to visit PatientsDeserveBetter.ie to contact Government representatives and demand speedier access to life-changing treatment.
Outcome
Business impact • Visitors to PatientsDeserveBetter.ie contacted their local politicians which led to 12 parliamentary questions about improving access to MS treatment in the four weeks directly after the activation • Two Government Ministers have formally written to the Minister for Health requesting a change in the flawed market access system, based on requests from their constituents • Successfully announced Roche as a leader in neurology in Ireland and its commitment to supporting patients Impressions • Over 13 million impressions across traditional and social media, in a country of 2 million adults • Social media conversations reflected the need for change and the positive reaction from People with MS and all those who visited the Café Change in behaviour • Commitments for change from all politicians who visited the Café from various political parties • Minister for Health has set up a meeting with MS Ireland to discuss access
Execution
Implementation • Irish specific research shaped the campaign messaging • Focus group was held with people with MS to ensure the Café interactions were true to life • Politicians, Government representatives, policy and healthcare stakeholders, media and influencers were invited to visit the Café • Footage of customers’ reactions was edited into a short video, showcasing the challenging environment encountered • Press materials issued to media with campaign key messages and call to action to visit www.patientsdeservebetter.ie • Patient case study interviews gave personal perspective • Social media strategy amplified reach and engagement Timeline 01.11.17 to 20.04.18 Placement / Café One-Day Opening Wednesday 28th March 2018 Scale Over 2,000 people visited the pop-up Café which was open for less than 8 hours and the campaign had a reach of over 13 million, in a country of 2 million adults.
CampaignDescription
The symptoms of MS can often be ‘invisible’ to others. This can be extremely frustrating and exhausting for those affected. To show the impact that access delays to treatment can have on patients, and spur them into action, an impactful idea was required. An empty shop on a busy street in Dublin was transformed into The MSunderstood Café and all materials, furniture and visuals were distorted so that customers’ sensation of touch and their vision were affected, mimicking symptoms of MS. Customers visiting the Café had no idea that they were part of an experiment. Actors staffed the Café and made sure each customer experienced the various interactions, and their reactions were captured on hidden cameras. Once the public was exposed to the café they were then asked to support the demand for better access by logging onto www.patientsdeservebetter.ie and contacting their political representatives.
BriefWithProjectedOutcomes
The advertising and promotion of medicinal products in Ireland is regulated by the Medicinal Products (Control of Advertising) Regulations, 2007 and direct to consumer advertising of prescription products is prohibited.
BriefExplanation

Audience
People with multiple sclerosis (MS) in Ireland need, expect and deserve quick access to new, innovative and effective treatments through a public system that is fair and sustainable. The MS community was activated to engage with Government and policy representatives to improve access delays in the Irish health system.
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awards
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018
Bronze Pharma
Disease Awareness & Understanding > Regulated
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018
Shortlist Pharma
Patient Engagement > Regulated
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