Short List
Category B03. Fundraising & Advocacy
Entrant VMLY&Rx Madrid, SPAIN
Idea Creation VMLY&Rx Madrid, SPAIN
Idea Creation 2 VMLY&Rx Barcelona, SPAIN
Production LA BOUTIQUE 77 Madrid, SPAIN
Name Company Position
Natxo Díaz WPP Health Practice Executive Creative Director
Leonardo Rincón WPP Health Practice Art Director
Iban Retegui WPP Health Practice Art Director
César Pérez WPP Health Practice Copywriter
Nico Sierra WPP Health Practice Art Director
Verónica De la Calle WPP Health Practice Graphic Designer
Alfonso Lügstenmann WPP Health Practice Art Director
Elvira Arzubialde WPP Health Practice CEO
Ana García-Abad WPP Health Practice Managing Director
Marta Alonso WPP Health Practice Account Executive
Adrián Pérez WPP Health Practice Copywriter

Why is this work relevant for Branded Content & Entertainment?

The day-to-day of patients in terms of their diet is so extremely strict that it could be a Sci-Fi movie. So we just did that: we created a fictional story that tried to bring the harsh reality of PKU patients closer to the public and how proteins without a biosensor/home phe monitor can do them a lot of harm (hence the title of the short, 'Protein Kills Us').


Phenylketonuria or most commonly known as PKU, is a rare, hereditary metabolic disease with no cure at the moment. Any protein food, such as meat, fish, milk or egg, must be eaten in extremely small quantities and with great precision. A wrong amount could cause irreversible brain damage. But worst of all is that currently there is no biosensor (home phe monitor) to measure the level of protein in the blood, so the PKU Foundation sought to raise funds to finance its design, development and commercialization. We didn't want to ask people for money without give them something back. So we create a short film to help us to explain the disorder and differentiate ourselves in a such difficult and saturated market of fundraising. A fiction story to explain a very real cause.

Describe the creative idea

We found the perfect explanation of the disease in its own name (PKU=Protein Kills Us) and create around a very impactful campaign with a disruptive and different approach, that completely changed the communication codes of the Foundation and also of the Spanish fund raising and advocacy market. We managed to explain how hard the PKU patients’ life is trough pure storytelling and entertainment, far from a commercial approach, by creating a short film story where emotions and harsh reality meet to engage the audience.

Describe the strategy

PKU Foundation needed to raise funds to finance the design, development and commercialization of this biosensor to help PKU patients. That’s the main purpose of this short film: to raise funds to be able to develop the Biosensor device, which would allow for a real-time monitoring of blood protein levels. This would make it easy for people to calculate how much they can eat regarding each meal’s nutrients and to regulate themselves accordingly. Only with this device we would be able to guarantee that these people eat in a safe, non-hazardous manner.

Describe the execution

With the short as a communicative channel, we carried out a multi-channel campaign that also included a trailer, screenings on cinemas and a special street marketing action at the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival, where we used the short's own caravan to make a stand very different, where users could see the trailer of the short on site. We also delivered information cards and small size tubes of popcorn so the audience could experience in first person the amount of popcorn that PKU patients can ingest in a whole day to avoid complications (8-9 popcorn maximum). We also have a website for the short film, an Instagram profile and a Public Relations action with which we achieve the generous collaboration of many Spanish celebrities such as Luis Suarez, Antonio Resines, Dani Macaco, Mario Suarez, Malena Costa, Miria Lalaguna, Verónica Echegui, etc.

Describe the outcome

We turn the shor film into the Special Guest Short Film at The Sitges Film Festival Broadcast on TV and Radio, including Spanish national public TV and radio. Exposure time via news items, interviews and reports in media online and print. We got a total audience of 9.5 million with a publicity value of €117,000 We reached +180.000 total digital views with a 99.4% positive reviews. We managed to increase forty fold the web traffic of the PKU Foundation and a +127 % increase in donations on launch date. Dozens of celebrities and influencers helped us to spread the short film for free on Instagram. The short film is now being recognized in some international cinema festivals.