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SMA: A Race Against Time

by Novartis Gene Therapies
with support from Havas Life Medicom

Summary of work

SMA is a rare, devastating genetic disease affecting babies from birth, leading to progressive muscle weakness and, without urgent treatment, can cause death by the baby’s second birthday.
Despite this, the infrastructure for urgent diagnosis is not yet in place across Europe. The responsibility of spotting the complex signs of disease falls to the caregivers and PCPs.
With no EMEA campaigns, Novartis Gene Therapies identified an unmet need to educate caregivers and HCPs on the signs and symptoms and drive the accelerated identification of SMA. Given the complex nature of symptoms, an innovative approach was required to educate with compelling and accurate content.
As disease symptoms can’t be replicated in healthy infants, the campaign creative pushed boundaries, resulting in a first-of-its-kind, CGI-based multichannel campaign with medically accurate baby characters to mirror these complex signs and symptoms to identify in infants.
Although creating lifelike 3D animations of babies is notoriously difficult, CGI provided the visual hook to bring the story to life and produce realistic, emotionally engaging content.
‘SMA: A Race Against Time’ is the first of its kind – an innovative, CGI-based creative delivered through a digital ecosystem of channels with the goal to empower caregivers and drive HCP urgency.

Judges' comments

This entry from Novartis and Havas Life Medicom stood out from a creative and innovative aspect with their use of CGI showcasing the symptoms of SMA. It was a well-focused project and really cut through the noise. Their market research clearly outlined the target audience and digital audit for media mix. It had good personal segments and key touch points were identified. It used a wide mix of digital media, with consistent messaging with the CGI baby and resource hub. The effectiveness of the campaign was evidenced with YouTube impressions, CTR, website visits and downloads. It truly had impressive reach.

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Key dates

Entry deadline 26 August 2022
Extended entry deadline 2 September 2022*
*additional fee applies
Judging Day 6 October 2022
Company/Team of the Year Interviews 21 October 2022
PMEA Event 23 November 2022