Category E03. Disease Awareness & Understanding
Entrant MENSCH Copenhagen, DENMARK
Idea Creation MENSCH Copenhagen, DENMARK
Media Placement MENSCH Copenhagen, DENMARK
Production MENSCH Copenhagen, DENMARK
Name Company Position
Rune Hørslev-Petersen Mensch Client Service Director
Frederik Preisler Mensch Chief Creative Officer
Flemming Boutrup Mensch Copy writer
Lene Jepsen Mensch Project Manager
Jakob Graves Mensch DTP
Simone Refn Mensch Project Co-ordinator
Isabella Sofie Nielsen Verizon Project Manager
Anna Taussi Ryot Studio PR & Content dsitribution manager

Why is this work relevant for PR?

Thousands of studies get published every day. But thanks to the PR around the study along with the filmed experiment, the study didn't just document that it is important to talk about hypos - it also became the most mentioned disease awareness story, and helped start millions of conversations about hypoglycaemia and created a real change among health care professionals, people with diabetes and patient organisations.

Describe any restrictions or regulations regarding Healthcare/RX/Pharma communications in your country/region including:

This was a global campaign under heavy country specific regulations. Hypoglycaemia is a side effect of insulin treatment but some insulin products have a lower risk of hypoglycaemia than others. Our purpose was to create awareness and educate about the side effect.

Describe the target audience and why your work is relevant to them.

Hoping to create awareness and to start a conversation about hypoglycaemia, the campaign targeted both HCPs, patients and their families. The ambition was to change the general perception of 'hypos' among HCPs, while encouraging patients to talk to their families and HCP about their hypos.


The campaign is based on a vision of expanding the knowledge and perception of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) through an initiative that includes both cinematic experiments, online tools and a scientific study. Insulin helps millions of people stabilize their blood sugar levels. However, insulin treatments can also cause low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia can lead to neurological damage*, nonsocial behavior** and, in the worst cases, death***. As the world’s leading insulin manufacturer, Novo Nordisk is committed to create awareness about the occurrence of hypoglycemia and its consequences, and what people with diabetes can do to avoid hypoglycemia. In order to do so, we had to help people with diabetes and their families open up to each other and talk about hypoglycemia.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

In order to give story news value we needed to gather new data. And to make the findings interesting, we needed to show the real people behind the numbers. So we decided to repeat the study in a filmed experiment. We interviewed people with diabetes and their families in adjacent rooms separated by a removable wall. In the end we showed them each other’s answers to demonstrate the discrepancies in their respective perceptions of the problem, their general understanding of hypoglycemia and how it affects their lives. The families participating in the experiment were not informed or prepared in any way ahead of the experiment and the interviews were filmed without a film crew present. After having seen each other’s answers we removed the wall between the people with diabetes and their family members. Their reactions were overwhelming.

Describe the PR strategy (30% of vote)

The key message was: Talk about Hypos. Both the study and the experiment clearly documented how much it helps to start the conversation. To get the attention of the media we created targeted press releases to specialist/HCP media, patient organisations and general press. Some of these headlines read: "New global study: Hidden burden of diabetes." "A simple conversation can help millions of people with diabetes." When the film went viral we followed up with: "Viewed by millions of people in just a few days, video reveals the anxieties of being close to this modern-day health crisis."

Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)

The initiative mobilised both HCPs, patient organisations, people with diabetes and their family members. The study was peer reviewed and published in the scientific journal Diabetes Therapy to create a scientific backbone for the campaign and change the perception of specialists. The findings of the study and the film were launched at the main stage at the World’s largest diabetes congress EASD. Patient organisations from around the world wrote about the study in their own channels and showed the film at their websites and SoMe pages. Not only did the initiative shed light on an important side effect of insulin treatment. It also helped people start conversations that could ultimately help solve the problems that come with hypoglycemia.

List the results (30% of vote)

Within two weeks, more than 200 news stories were published in both medical and lay media reaching a total online readership of 185 million people. The film went viral within the first two weeks with more than 30 million views** and 40.000 shares** on social media. The film had an average view time of 38 seconds which is 4 times the average view time on social media. The engagement rate of the films was at 1,01 % and they yielded 90.588 reactions. 99,8 % of these were positive**. The campaign showed that hypoglycemia significantly affects the family members of people with diabetes and that simply talking about it can help. But more importantly, the campaign helped start a conversation between people with diabetes and their families. As a result, conversations about hypoglycemia on social media grew with 186 %* during the campaign. *Coveragebook **Monitored by Facebook ***Monitored by Quid