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Innovation in Healthcare Communications

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IBD Unmasked

by Ketchum for Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Summary of work

As a leader in gastroenterology, Takeda wanted to launch a creative and compelling global campaign to support the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) community. For the more than five million people worldwide living with IBD, everyday activities present a challenge. They admit feeling helpless and vulnerable at times and see the disease as a struggle against an “intrusive enemy.”

People with IBD are also typically diagnosed ages 18-34 - a demographic with low tolerance for traditional marketing tactics. It was in this environment that Takeda recognised the power of graphic illustration to tell their stories, and teamed up with Marvel Custom Solutions to establish its first partnership with a pharmaceutical company, in a first-of-its-kind global awareness initiative.

Takeda and Marvel collaborated directly with people living with IBD, IBD specialists and advocacy organisations around the world to create a campaign featuring Superheroes affected by IBD. Takeda launched IBD Unmasked with booths at multiple Comic Con events and broke through the pharmaceutical ‘norm’ to empower patients and deliver a message. To date, the campaign has exceeded most client metrics, including approximately 100 original earned placements in top outlets, with more than 670.9 million media impressions.

Judges' comments

This bold, challenging and well-written campaign really captured our full attention. To take the insight of Marvel characters is incredibly creative, brave and very engaging. This felt like an industry first to us.


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IBD Unmasked - by Ketchum for Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Category Sponsors

Key dates

Entry deadline 10th March 2023
Extended entry deadline 17th March 2023
(additional fee applies)
Judging days 4th, 5th and 19th
May 2023
Awards Ceremony 6th July 2023

Contact information:

For sponsorship opportunities:
Sales Team
Tel: +44 (0)1372 414200

General event enquiries:
Debbie Tuesley
Tel: +44 (0)1372 414243

Entry and dinner booking enquiries:
Charlotte Garnade
Tel: 01372 414253