Cannes Lions



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Case Film






Challenge: Everyone has back pain at some point. Eight out of 10 adults to be exact. Most people blame the pain on something they did. But for over 500,000 US adults, it’s not that at all. It’s Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)—an autoimmune disease that inflames the spine and other joints, causing debilitating pain. Currently only 1 in 4 Americans with AS is diagnosed.

Objective: Increase AS diagnosis rates by helping our target identify inflammatory back pain symptoms and encourage them to talk to their doctors about their condition and whether they need to see a rheumatologist.

Strategy: Get our target to question if they really know what’s causing their back pain.

Execution: The campaign brought AS to life as a treacherous character with the characteristics of the disease. Radio, SEM and banners all drove listeners to take a quiz on our website to see if their symptoms could be AS. Simultaneously, the sales force prepared doctors to recognize AS with brochures, postcards and a website for healthcare providers.

Outcome: In addition, website visits and quiz completions increased dramatically while radio was on air.


HUMIRA at Work was a departure in the category. We showed how functional and emotional efficacy enabled a return to normal. Beautifully shot moments, both large and small, reminded RA patients of what life had been and could be. It was not a campaign all about RA because our patients’ lives were no longer all about RA.

We launched in successive channels that worked to overcome obstacles and motivate patients to talk to their rheumatologist.

The campaign launched in May 2013, with television spots that drove viewers to the HUMIRA website and to their doctor for more information.

Website visitors heard patient testimonial (Anne) that helped raise expectations of what is possible with HUMIRA—and their comfort level with an injectable medication.

We also dominated health sites like WebMD with banners that linked to Anne’s video. And we took over rheumatologists’ offices via TV screens, wallboards, and health magazines.


Website metrics

· There was a nearly 20% increase in weekly site visits when radio was in market vs. prior weeks*

· The percentage of site visitors who took the quiz increased 700%, to 7 in 21 visitors, when radio was in market*

Benchmark: 1 in 21

Objective: 2.5 in 21

Results: 7 in 21

· While radio was in market, 69% of people who took the quiz learned they could have inflammatory back pain vs. 57% in prior weeks*

AAU study

· Of back pain sufferers who recalled hearing the radio, 42% planned to talk to their doctor about AS†

· Of care influencers who recalled hearing the radio, 38% planned to talk to someone close to them about AS†

Anecdotally, rheumatologists in the markets where the radio ran even said that qualified patients are coming to them suspecting they may have AS.

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