Short List
Category E01. Direct to Patient
Idea Creation McCANN HEALTH Milan, ITALY
Production McCANN HEALTH Milan, ITALY
Name Company Position
Fabio Teodori McCann Health Italy Chief Creative Officer
Fabio Mazzucchelli McCann Health Italy Creative Director
Sarah Amatori McCann Health Italy Creative Director Copy
Pietro Gigliotti McCann Health Italy Art Director
Dania Copertino McCann Health Italy Head of PR & Communication
eleonora morini McCann Health Italy Client Service Director
Alice Morabito McCann Health Italy Account Manager
Andrea Nosotti McCann Health Italy Digital Manager
Danilo Caposseno free lance Music Artist

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

This project is all about giving caregivers the most moving experience of courage and hope ever. We activated them into a brand experience that sees them as protagonists in all phases of the project. From the creation of the Brave Belt, developed in collaboration with the Kikds Kicking Cancer association, to the live experience session with the parents of the children with cancer. It was a first experiment, promoted by a pharmaceutical company, which then became a real certified patient support program.

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

Italy has quite strict regulations on healthcare prescription product communication: all HCP communication needs to be submitted to AIFA, while it is against the law to communicate to the consumer directly. This does not apply to over the counter products, nor to disease awareness campaigns.

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

Patient This campaign is addressed to all children with cancer and their parents, who feel unprepared for such an enemy and its tough times. The campaign has the ultimate goal of helping both of them in this struggle, strengthening each other. Because together we are stronger then cancer.


Every year all over the world, 300.000* children are diagnosed with cancer. (* World Health Organization. Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer.) Pfizer, one of the leaders in the therapeutic area of pediatric cancer, asked us to develop an awareness campaign of patient advocacy. A digital campaign that could have a strong PR and word of mouth return able to demonstrate the closeness of the brand to all the families affected by this disease every year. A closeness that goes beyond the treatment of the disease, truly taking care of the Patients needs. And those of their parents.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

Brave Belt is the first ever karate belt designed to give courage to the parents of children with cancer. We answered to the client brief with a new idea of support program for both patients and caregivers, going beyond the traditional communication campaign. In collaboration with Kids Kicking Cancer Association, a few little patients created 4 simple martial arts techniques (Breathe, Concentrate, Defend and React) to help all parents become stronger and face tough moments. We then printed those lessons on a black karate belt, that became a support program for parents and caregivers, and a great symbol of courage for us all.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

The illness of a child is a devastating event, for which any parent finds himself unprepared. Despite therapies, injections and weeks in hospital, in this battle for life kids are not the weakest. Their parent are. This was the insight that led us to the Brave Belt campaign. Our strategy was to speak to parents through their children, letting them create a special message that could reinforce their strengthens. In this way we boost the confidence of the caregivers that can use the Brave Belt in the moment of pain. They can regain the necessary strength, both physical and mental, to be at the side of their children, instilling them with courage, confidence and lightheartedness. Thus, creating a virtuous cycle of strength that passes from the patient to the caregiver and vice versa.

Describe the execution (30% of vote)

It all began with the collaboration of Kids Kicking Cancer, the association that helps young cancer patients to increase their ability to manage pain and face treatments and therapies thanks to the use of martial arts. With their support we involved a small group of children from the Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital in Rome, who conceived the 4 karate moves that were then printed on the Brave Belt. Then a video case history collected the testimonies of the parents who received this special belt. The video was promoted by the brand through a social and digital campaign to convey this message of hope to as many parents as possible. An extensive PR campaign on both online and offline channel sparked the interest of other hospitals to the program. The Brave Belt itself was finally exposed in several hospitals across the country to promote this new message of courage to everyone.

List the results (30% of vote)

With 90 million impressions collected in a few months, the entire project received the interest of all national media and various institutional stakeholders who wanted to deepen the operation to understand its scalability at a national level. The operation, which began as a brand initiative, has in fact become a certified supporting program that has now been adopted by 25 hospitals across the country. The campaign received also the endorsement of the national karate association which is now an active promoter of the Brave Belt. But the most important result of all was to being ablet to change the attitude of parents and children in facing with the disease, giving them the courage to be stronger than cancer, together.