Disease Awareness TV: 'Dreidel, Dreidel'

Sanofi Genzyme's winning disease awareness work uses the dreidel to educate people about Gaucher disease, which disproportionately affects Ashkenazi Jews. (Emcay)

Category: Disease Awareness TV
Winning campaign: “Dreidel, Dreidel”
Client: Sanofi Genzyme
Agency: Emcay

“Are you playing around with your health?” That’s the opening line in a provocative TV ad by Sanofi Genzyme that shows a man seated at a table spinning a dreidel—a four-sided top used in a childhood game of chance played within the Jewish community.

The award-winning ad, created by pharma marketing agency Emcay, uses the dreidel as a vehicle to educate people about Gaucher disease, a rare genetic disorder that affects approximately one in 40,000 people worldwide, but disproportionately affects one in 850 Ashkenazi Jewish people.

“Most people have never heard of it,” Emcay President Steve Millerman said. “Many of the symptoms that come with Gaucher disease mimic other conditions. The rarity of the condition and people not knowing about it was the main inspiration to get the word out.”

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Emcay created the disease awareness campaign for Sanofi Genzyme, whose therapeutic focus in lysosomal storage disorders includes two Gaucher drugs—Cerezyme and Cerdelga—among its rare disease treatments.

“The core message was for people to recognize the symptoms and encourage them to talk to their physicians about these symptoms and go out and get tested, specifically for Gaucher disease,” Millerman said.

The TV ad, called “Dreidel, Dreidel,” educates people about the four most common symptoms of Gaucher disease—bone pain, easy bruising, frequent nose bleeds and fatigue—using each side of the dreidel to represent a symptom.

“If you have even one or two symptoms, you should talk to your doctor,” a voiceover says (in Russian). “Because left untreated, Gaucher disease can cause permanent damage to your body. … The good news is, early diagnosis can help you manage the disease.”

The original campaign was created in Russian, targeting U.S. Ashkenazi Jews who had emigrated from the former Soviet Union.

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“The emotional connection you are able to make through someone’s culture is a whole different level of connecting with the audience,” Millerman said.

The campaign included a call to action for consumers to call a number provided in the ad if they were experiencing any of the symptoms. Within a few months of airing, the campaign generated hundreds of calls with qualified patient leads.

Disease Awareness TV: 'Dreidel, Dreidel'