Lights, camera, traction: Almirall makes dramatic miniseries to spread the word about life with psoriasis

Looking for your next binge watch? Almirall has you covered, albeit only for 40 minutes or so. The Spanish pharma has created the three-part series called "Nina" to raise awareness of the daily challenges faced by people with psoriasis. 

Almirall, which sells psoriasis drugs such as Ilumetri and Wynzora, made the miniseries with partners including the dermatologist Eva Vilarrasa. The series is a work of fiction with the roles played by actors but is intended to show hypothetical situations that reflect the burdens of living with the dermatological condition.

Part one opens backstage at a fashion event. As the protagonist, Nina, sneaks a look at who is attending the event, she realizes that someone is missing. The discovery seems to stress Nina and led her to ask a colleague to leave her alone for five minutes. As Nina frets that “this won’t work at all” and asks herself “Marco you lizard, where are you?” the film transitions to its title card and then flashes back six months.

In the flashback, we see scaly patches of skin on Nina’s back as she walks to the shower. After taking a shower, Nina looks at herself in the bathroom mirror and starts to cry. In the next scene, Nina meets with a doctor and angrily lists the problems with treatments she has tried in the past. The doctor tells Nina “we now have alternatives for psoriasis” and asks her to get a blood test.

At a photo shoot, Nina meets the model Marco. The two go for a drink but Nina rebuffs Marco when he asks to meet again and moves closer to her while saying “I'm sure that you and I have a lot more than meets the eye.” In the next scene, Nina looks at pics from the shoot and sees a scaly patch on Marco’s arm.

In the second episode, Nina meets Marco to ask why he didn’t tell her about his psoriasis. Marco tells Nina his psoriasis is under control and he feels good about himself for the first time because science has advanced. Nina storms off and later has testy exchanges with her doctor, father and an interviewer. The episode ends with Nina trashing her apartment and calling the doctor to ask to start treatment.  

The final episode shows Nina getting her life back on track and leads up to the fashion show we see at the start of episode one. Knowing Nina’s story, we now know the significance of the top she is wearing, a strappy number that shows skin she used to keep hidden. Nina uses the event to talk about her psoriasis, telling the attendees that the condition “doesn’t just damage your skin.” The episode ends with Nina and Marco walking together.

Creating a longer-form video allows Almirall to take a deeper dive into what it is like to live with a health condition than is typically possible in pharma videos, and will provide evidence of whether there is an audience for such content. At the time of writing, the first episode, which was released two months ago, has 1,100 views on YouTube. Almirall also has 1,200 views on the original Spanish-language film.