New ‘compelling evidence’ sets the scene for Pompe awareness

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Stunning new creative by Havas Lynx Group is helping raise awareness and provoke discussion on a rare proximal muscle disease that could affect up to 5000 people across Europe.

The healthcare communications agency was appointed by Sanofi Genzyme to come up with a thought-provoking campaign that would highlight Pompe and its symptoms, whilst also providing the tools and information to achieve earlier diagnosis for what is predicted to affect 3500 ‘missing patients’.

After extensive research and conversations with existing patients, the ‘Compelling Evidence’ creative was born and uses subtle subversions of familiar scenarios, challenging the viewer to look again.

Through the visual drama of crime scenes, photographed in a way that is intentionally under-glamourised, the signs of Pompe are given the same weight of significance as a piece of police evidence.

The unexpected nature of these innocuous objects sealed in police evidence bags, including a barely touched shampoo bottle to symbolise an issue with raising arms above head-height and armchair deterioration suggesting trouble standing, provides a curious juxtaposition to prompt viewers to find out more.

Tom Richards, Chief Creative Officer at Havas Lynx Group, commented: “Pompe’s rarity and similarity with other conditions makes the diagnostic journey long and protracted, with many patients not connecting disparate symptoms, excusing them altogether or struggling to identify exactly what is wrong.

“They need support recognising symptoms so they can communicate a complete picture to their doctors, which is why Sanofi Genzyme again called on our creative team to come up with an engaging campaign.

“We used World Pompe Day as a launchpad to put these symptoms under the spotlight. Seemingly innocuous objects (that were, in fact, inspired by real-life experiences of Pompe patients) appear in evidence bags, to reinforce the message that even minor everyday frustrations and difficulties should be re-examined more closely.”

He continued: “The details of the evidence are featured on the bag labels to help the viewer understand the significance of their suspicions. Strict attention has been paid to ensure that all the messaging points and materials remain faithful to authentic evidence bags. “

“The concept is simple, scalable and so direct it can be translated into any market, for any symptom, and using any object that can help raise awareness of Pompe; a rare disease that’s in danger of being overlooked.”

Havas Lynx Group has grown from a small creative agency formed in the Northern Quarter of Manchester into a global healthcare communications agency, offering campaign development, brand strategy, capability building and education services.

The company, which was named as the Cannes Lions Healthcare Agency of the Year 2018, has been at the forefront of provoking conversation on a host of conditions and diseases that have been underrepresented in the past.

This has been through the use of a clever mix of creative, digital, social and video to raise awareness and challenge preconceptions around HIV, Dermatitis and, more recently Parkinson’s.

Tom concluded: “Using ‘creative’ to raise awareness and tell a different story is something that we are very passionate about. It can be an important first step in helping save lives.”

Pompe, a rare proximal muscle disease, presents with similar symptoms to several other neuromuscular conditions, and so often gets misdiagnosed.

Symptoms can include weak muscles, poor muscle tone, enlarged liver, failure to gain weight and grow at expected rate, trouble breathing, feeding problems, infections in the respiratory system and issues with hearing.