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Changing healthcare, one film at a time

Successfully marrying educational content with an entertaining format can help to truly maximise audience engagement

In Memory "Beautiful, touching, exquisite: a tender tribute to seniors and memories. Great work." North Carolina Film Awards

Entertaining an audience often isn’t the primary remit for educational healthcare campaigns. However, it is well proven that sparking an emotional response in your audience has huge potential impact for engagement, memorability, and ultimately behaviour change. With careful crafting, educational stories delivered through the medium of film can provoke laughter, joy or sorrow, increasing reach and impact, and providing an unequalled opportunity to leave a lasting impression on your audience.

With the rise of digital devices and social media, the challenge of connecting with an audience has never been greater, and healthcare is no exception. Today, getting a message across to healthcare professionals is a huge challenge, and means gaining the attention of a well-educated, time-poor audience who are seeking high-value content, in a noisy, yet highly regulated communications environment.

No matter what the profession or background of an audience, everyone is human, and human cultures are rooted in stories. While this means that storytelling is often touted as the key to engaging audiences, Bedrock know that there is more to a captivating story than just a beginning, a middle, and an end; the secret is finding a way to make people care! Studies have shown that content which resonates emotionally with an audience activates more regions of the brain. Emotionally resonant content is also linked with improved attention and recall, two crucial aspects of any effective healthcare communications campaign.

Connecting with healthcare professional and patient audiences therefore requires marrying scientifically accurate content with emotionally engaging storytelling. Developing content based on patient insights, uncovered through methods such as Origins’ video ethnography approach, we have created an unrivalled approach to medical education, reaching audiences in a way that cuts through the competing noise.

In addition to a long and successful history of creating educational videos and animations, Bedrock have developed three films that have not only won awards from the pharma industry, but which have also collectively been recognised with eighteen awards from the film industry.

The 18 laurels Bedrock's films have won to date

Short feature films, such as ‘In Memory’, ‘Millefeuille’, and ‘This is Axiom’, which both educate and entertain audiences will undoubtedly play a more prominent role in the future of healthcare communications, and Bedrock is committed to continue as a pioneer in this growing field.

Posters for In Memory, Millefuille and This is Axiom

‘In Memory’ [IMDB] tells the story of an older couple, Grace and John, who are struggling to cope with John’s advancing dementia. Although the health message behind the story is clear, it is John’s love for his wife that really holds the story together as the audience watch him relive his most perfect day ever; the day he met the person with whom he would spend his life. The focus on their relationship helps explain why viewers can enjoy ‘In Memory’ first and foremost as a love story, making it more than just another health awareness video.

The two client-led productions we have developed used similar insight-driven storytelling approaches. ‘Millefeuille’ [IMDB] explores the issues of isolation and restriction people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis struggle with, and the degree to which they are self-imposed, through the character of Élodie – a former pastry chef who’s condition has forced her to leave her old life behind – and the curiosity of her persistent young neighbour, Holly. While ‘This is Axiom’ [IMDB] follows stranded astronaut Nozomi and the Mission Control team struggling to bring her home – using the power of metaphor in science fiction to explore the parallels between space exploration and cutting-edge healthcare.

With a well thought out campaign, emotionally engaging videos can reach an audience of thousands in a short period. ‘In Memory’ and ‘This is Axiom’ were each watched by over 300,000 people in their first month, and inspired hundreds of thousands of engagements online. The appeal of ‘This is Axiom’ was evident at the premiere at New Scientist Live, where it was enjoyed on the big screen by a packed audience of over 1,300 people of all ages and backgrounds.

These award-winning films have characters that almost anyone can relate to. Healthcare professionals, patients, employees of pharmaceutical companies, journalists, and members of the public have all expressed hugely favourable opinions of these films, with responses including “gripped me and made me think”, “it really helps people understand”, “really powerful”, “changed my opinion of pharmaceutical companies”, “an amazing film that truly captures so many of the issues [patients] face every day”, and “[it] brought it all home”.

Part of the appeal of films like ‘In Memory’, ‘Millefeuille’ and ‘This is Axiom’ is that they have enormous potential to dispel myths and even add hope. Jennie Jewitt-Harris, Chief Executive of Transplant Links Charity, notes that “there’s an opportunity to really connect with people who are living out these awful and difficult situations, and show them there is hope in a way that people can really engage with.”

Bedrock Healthcare Communications are experts in crafting compelling, thought-provoking and emotional stories that captivate hearts and stimulate minds. Contact us today to talk about creating healthcare communications that matter.

Watch the films

In Memory: Trailer | Full film

Millefeuille: Trailer | Website and full film

This is Axiom: Trailer | Website and full film

17th October 2019

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Bedrock Group

01252 240200

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Address:
One Fleet
Ancells Road
Fleet
Hampshire
GU51 2UN

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