Parkinson’s UK came to us with a problem. Most people know that Parkinson’s can cause involuntary body tremors, but there are over 40 other symptoms that many of us don’t know about at all. A major one is anxiety, and the charity wanted to shine a spotlight on this, following the previous work we’d done with them to dramatise other symptoms such as loss of taste and freezing in place.
We did some digging and discovered that chemical changes in the brain caused by Parkinson’s can make it harder to cope with stressful thoughts. Awareness of this symptom was low at 34%, compared with 86% awareness for the condition’s most well-recognised symptom of body tremors. But how do you bring to life anxiety in a way that hasn’t been done before?
Inspired by the anxiety caused by hyper-connectivity in the digital age, we imagined the brain as a mobile phone app that constantly sends out notifications of worry. The Anxious Brain campaign launched with a series of 20 second videos on Instagram Stories and Facebook Instream – both new social media channels for Parkinson’s UK. The films showed how daily activities such as going to the gym or cooking, can lead to a downward spiral of anxiety via distressing phone notifications. We also used digital OOH posters in popular shopping centres and train stations across London, with bespoke notification messaging to suit the locations.
The campaign moved the score for awareness of anxiety as a symptom of Parkinson’s by 3 percentage points, up to 37%, ahead of anticipated results. It was a campaign that made people think by making them feel, which Parkinson’s UK was delighted with.
We often hear from people with Parkinson’s that they struggle with the mental health symptoms of the condition, like anxiety, but most people are unaware that Parkinson’s is anything more than a tremor. We wanted people to know that the condition is so much more than the shakes. Innocean understood the significance of this brief and worked closely with our team to create a unique campaign that targeted new mediums to reach our target audience and successfully increase awareness of anxiety as a symptom of Parkinson’s for the first time.Hannah Dedman, Head of Marketing
Parkinson’s UK – The Anxious Brain
Parkinson’s UK came to us with a problem. Most people know that Parkinson’s can cause involuntary body tremors, but there are over 40 other symptoms that many of us don’t know about at all.