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AUTHORS: Christoph Witte, Founder and Managing Director

Storytelling for rare conditions

When it comes to disease awareness, well-made cinematic storytelling reaches hearts and minds.

The same applies to all communication around

rare conditions.

In Germany alone, some four million people live with a rare condition. They often endure many years of suffering before they even get a clear diagnosis. Companies that want to provide medications with orphan drug status can use disease awareness campaigns to make an important contribution to bringing patients and specialist doctors together.

Lights, camera, action: Patients tell their story


Video is unlike any other medium in its ability to move people by conveying information with emotion and evoking moods. Patients and their families tend to be real experts in their own rare condition.

These people know from experience how it feels to be desperately searching for a root cause with ambiguous symptoms. Meanwhile, doctors and other medical professionals also benefit from

hearing patient insights.






Authentic storytelling appeals to target groups


What’s the best way to tell patient stories through film? The main priority is always the health and well-being of the protagonists. For agencies, this means getting to know every aspect of the disease so they can communicate properly with the patients and create a credible film concept. Success comes when the concept focuses entirely on the personality of the patient, allowing for all the possible limitations imposed by the condition. Another key factor is making sure the chemistry is right between the protagonist and the agency.






Preparation is key


Cinematic storytelling with patients is a complex process that demands a high degree of empathy and flexibility on the part of the client and the agency. From the outset, the various formats and target groups must be taken into account. Alongside the patient film for the disease awareness website and non-standard formats for social media channels and PR (naturally in full compliance with the laws on advertising in the field of healthcare), a short film is often used to provide internal motivation within the company, plus a version for medical professionals, in which the drug can also be named.








Video is the medium of choice when it comes to raising awareness of a rare condition. This is best done by means of an authentic patient story – devised and implemented by an agency partner with in-depth medical expertise and special competence in cinematic storytelling.

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