Cannes Lions


SHACKLETON, Barcelona / ALMIRALL / 2016


1 Silver Cannes Lions
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In order to raise awareness in Almirall’s staff about their new dermatological work, for one day we helped them empathise with people who suffer from skin disease, feeling what they feel everyday.

To do this we literally turned the employees into sufferers of skin disease.

With the help of a makeup studio and cinema special effects, and hiding the results from the individuals concerned, we transformed five of Almirall’s employees (among them the CEO) so they appeared to have five different severe skin diseases. And then we took them out onto the street to capture the reactions of the people they passed.

This experience enabled them to feel, first hand, what it means to suffer a skin disease, and to experience the social stigma attached to it – because understanding sufferers is the first step towards helping them.


First we worked with specialists to recreate the illnesses that the company’s five employees would suffer.

To ensure that the makeup was realistic we collaborated with the prestigious studio DDT FX, Oscar winners for Best Makeup for “Pan’s Labyrinth”.

We worked on the employees separately so their expressions wouldn’t reveal the results to each other. Once their makeup was finished, we took them to the city centre so they could experience what a sufferer feels when they do something as simple as walking down the street or buying bread.

Afterwards, on a set created in a hangar, they discovered what skin disease they were suffering from. We recorded their reactions and reflections so they could tell the rest of the workforce what it means to suffer from a skin disease, helping them to see the importance of their daily work – because the first step in helping people is


This action led to the company’s staff understanding the importance of their daily tasks. They understood what it means to suffer a skin disease, and it helped them to become even more engaged in their jobs. We changed their perception that their work was not important for people suffering from disease.

The company has seen an increase in the degree of engagement and commitment to developing new drugs to help these sufferers, because the entire company has walked in their shoes.

The action was a huge success with a positive impact on more than 95% of the company’s staff all over the world. All of them became aware of the daily problems faced by sufferers of skin diseases and they helped us to spread the company’s message throughout the pharmaceutical sector, leading to sufferers of skin disease and society in general perceiving Almirall as a company that cares about them.

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