It's Diabetes Awareness Month, and, on Nov. 14, we observe Diabetes Awareness Day, where the color of choice is blue. Medtronic is once again participating in raising awareness through its Blue Balloon Challenge.
The challenge, initially launched by Medtronic in Europe in 2021, serves as a metaphor for the disease. As a Medtronic spokesperson explained to Fierce Pharma Marketing, "diabetes is a constant balancing act."
“It’s like doing everything you do in your daily life while trying to keep a balloon in the air," the spokesperson added. "The challenge encourages people to step into the shoes of those who live with diabetes to understand what it’s like to manage this chronic condition on top of the ups and downs of life in general."
The crux of the challenge involves filming oneself attempting to keep a blue balloon in the air, all while performing a daily task, and then sharing the video on social media. However, the true substance lies in the stories people share using the #BlueBalloonChallenge hashtag, revealing their experiences of living with the condition.
This year, Medtronic, which markets a number of diabetes devices including insulin pumps and pens, has signed up NFL sports analyst and former Minnesota Vikings player Kyle Rudolph along with actress Jennifer Stone to join in on the action.
Stone, who started promotional work with Medtronic last year, has already taken to Instagram to film her challenge. while Rudolph has done the same on his, challenging people to “grab a blue balloon and record yourself doing a daily activity while juggling the balloon.”
This year, stories behind the challenge are focused on children, who are talking about their everyday experiences with the condition.
Medtronic is also pledging that for every balloon challenge completed on social media, its diabetes business will donate $5 to Life for a Child, a nonprofit that helps provide critical diabetes supplies to kids in underserved areas.
This month, the device giant will also be going global, running the Bondi Beach Blue Balloon Challenge as well as awareness drives with the Type 1 diabetes community Sugar Tree in Korea, a presence at the DMTHAI Society World Diabetes Day event in Thailand and engagements with regional influencers like Sena in Japan.