Overcoming a Japanese Cultural Taboo with Videos from Lithuania, the USA and France

Click to access campaign page on Shionogi.co.jp

Click to access campaign page on Shionogi.co.jp

Do you remember the Help Cancer Patients contest, in which we asked the community to submit videos & animations that encourage cancer patients to share their pain in order to get better treatment? Our client was Shionogi, a major pharmaceutical company that produces and markets cancer medicines, which wanted to overcome a cultural taboo: « While in the Western world it is common for the patients to communicate their suffering, in Japan it’s not the norm to talk about experiencing pain. Patients suffer in silence [thinking] there’s something wrong with them and their cancer treatments will be terminated, » the brief said.

A banner on Shionogi's website, linking to the page that display's eYeka's community-created videos

A banner on Shionogi’s website, linking to the page that display’s eYeka’s community-created videos

Shionogi and its agency were so delighted with the community’s submissions that they created a website to showcase the winners and some of the best videos, also visible on YouTube. Here is a part of the feedback that the Shionogi team gave to the community:

We watched all the entries over and over to screen winners. There were many comments and it was extremely difficult to select top three entries. Unfortunately, there were many great entries that were highly evaluated by the Screening Committee besides winners. We will utilize submitted works for our activation to achieve our objective aiming “cancer patients to be released from pain.” Again, thank you very much to all of you who participated to the contest.

There were a lot of other great videos, as the ccompany says, but the three winners have been chosen for a variety of reasons including cultural fit and how much the message would resonate with Japanese consomers. So, let us see the winning videos that Shionogi and its agency chose as winners:

“Be brave to tell”- 1st Prize – Exeas (Lithuania) 

Client comment:

Congratulations on winning the first place. Among many excellent works, your work was significantly impactful. This work ensures to deliver “brave spirit to communicate pains” via unique characters with smooth music. Thank you very much for presenting your fantastic work.

“Honest Answers”- 2nd Prize – dreamcatcher (United States)

(Note that we already published an interview of this creator, who won an eYeka contest for Coca-Cola).

Client comment:

Congratulations on winning the second place. Your work is filled with warmth, and it is impressive conveying the message that cancer patients enduring pain could finally communicate his pain with a help of his granddaughter! Thank you very much for presenting your excellent work.

“Now, I can do it”- 3rd Prize – daniel_t (France)

Client comment:

Congratulations on winning the third place. There are patients who cannot talk about pain and suffer and endure from not being able to do things. We believe your work addresses “importance to communicate” to those patients. Tender smile during a nap is very charming. This work should encourage us to keep saying “Now, I can do it!” Thank you very much for presenting us your excellent work.

On the campaign page, you will also see other videos that have been shortlisted by Shionogi but did not make the cut to be one of the three winners. All of them found a distinct and appropriate way to convince cancer patients to voice out their pain to their doctors and loved ones, so that they can get better treatment and be released of their symptoms. See the link to the campaign page in the tweet embedded below:

See you soon on eYeka!

About Yannig

Yannig was Marketing Manager at eYeka, responsible for PR, communication and research. Interested in marketing, innovation and design-related topics, he also loves to free his head by cycling, running, reading or drawing. Yannig, who holds an MSc from ESSCA School of Management and a PhD from University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, tweets under @YannigRoth and blogs at www.yannigroth.com
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