Acclaimed Actress Amy Brenneman may play a silenced police chief’s wife in her new role on “The Leftovers,” but she generously lends her voice to help raise awareness for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in a newly refreshed public service awareness campaign.
The campaign features Brenneman, who has suffered from ulcerative colitis, and is now a proud supporter of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). The goal of campaign is two-fold: 1. To highlight the prevalence of these diseases and 2. To reinforce the seriousness of these diseases. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic diseases that affect nearly 1 in 200 Americans. The physical and emotional toll they take on patients is significant.
“I know firsthand how devastating these diseases can be,” Amy Brenneman said. “So, when CCFA asked me to help I was more than happy to get involved. If my support can help even one person, I’d be happy.”
Many patients suffer in silence from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), and with Ms. Brenneman’s support, hopefully that will change. IBD are painful, medically incurable diseases that attack the digestive system. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, bleeding, fever, severe fatigue and weight loss. Many patients require numerous hospitalizations and surgery. The fastest growing patient population is children under the age of 18.
“By putting this issue front and center, we want to engage people, raise awareness, and demonstrate our commitment and compassion to finding cures and improving the lives of our patients,” said Richard J. Geswell, President and CEO of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. “We know these diseases extend far beyond the bathroom, but it’s a compelling way to get the conversation started.”
For the second year in a row, CCFA enlisted the pro-bono help of the global advertising agency, FCB Health. In addition to the :30-second and :60-second TV spots, the campaign consists of radio, print, out-of-home and digital assets.
The campaign utilizes the bathroom for a simple reason — it’s easy to recognize. And empathize. The campaign is about helping people understand how difficult it is to live with IBD, while reminding people that have IBD that there’s no reason to hide a normal daily activity. The campaign is designed to raise awareness to help those in need by visualizing the constant disruption of IBD. Showing different feet under the doors of bathroom stalls is meant to highlight the growing rate of IBD, not explain all the symptoms. CCFA is also leveraging social media, asking patients to share their stories online using #IBDselfie to #HelpSomeoneYouKnow.
“We had so many great insights to work with. Evolving a campaign that resonates and motivated people is tricky — you want to improve everything without touching the DNA of what made the concept work in the first place,” said Mike Devin, Executive Vice President, Creative Director.