Online Video or Film: 'Well, Actually'

Conde Nast Well Actually video series - still image
Condé Nast Health and Self created a documentary series about racial and economic health inequalities for people with asthma. (Condé Nast)

Category: Online video or film
Winning campaign: “Well, Actually”
Client: GlaxoSmithKline
Agency: Publicis Health Media
Publisher: Self and Condé Nast Health

The first episode of “Well, Actually,” Self magazine’s documentary series that explores racial and economic inequities in healthcare, was shot and produced almost entirely before the COVID-19 pandemic. But its message took on even greater significance during the current public health crisis.

The episode takes a deep dive into asthma—a condition that is more relevant than ever as those with moderate to severe asthma may be at a higher risk for developing serious COVID-19 symptoms if infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The marketing program was developed for GlaxoSmithKline by Self and parent Condé Nast Health in partnership with GSK's agency Publicis Health Media.

“Asthma disproportionately impacts Black, Latinx and Native American communities,” Carrie Moore, head of sales at Condé Nast Health, the parent company of Self magazine. “ 'Well, Actually’ was a tremendous opportunity to shine a light on racial and economic disparities that exist in healthcare.”

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The first episode examines factors that contribute to health disparities surrounding asthma, including environmental exposure to pollutants in industrial areas and access—or lack of access—to affordable healthcare. The documentary focuses on the neighboring towns of Wyandanch and West Babylon in New York.

“Wyandanch is mostly Black and Hispanic, while neighboring areas like West Babylon are mostly white,” Dr. Jessica Clemons, who hosts the episode, said. “Wyandanch has almost three times the number of ER visits for asthma-related issues than West Babylon. So, what's going on here, and why?”

The documentary tells the stories of Wyandanch residents who are living with asthma and the inequities they experience. One resident is a Black woman named Latesha, whose 9-year-old daughter and two sisters struggle with asthma. Latesha and her family live five miles from an industrial plant.

“When I look at all this debris—it's been sitting here since I was a kid—it makes me wonder about the devastating effects it has on so many people that live so close,” Latesha says. “It really saddens me that it sits five miles from my home, or less. And, it just makes me wonder, where's the justice in it all?”

Dr. Melody Goodman, a biostatistician whose work focuses on racial and socioeconomic health disparities in diseases including asthma, was also interviewed for the documentary.

“There are real differences for people who live in Wyandanch, compared to what it's like for people who live in West Babylon,” Goodman says in the series. “They're about living in segregated spaces, having access to opportunity and access to a primary care physician—and they're limited in places like Wyandanch. There are a lot factors about where you live and how that impacts your health outcomes.”

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The episode also features a mobile care van in Chicago that provides free care to children with asthma, and a patient with severe asthma who describes what it’s like to be uninsured with a serious condition.

The “Well, Actually” video series received more than 1.5 million views in its first month, which was 19% over Condé Nast’s goal. In addition, the full-length documentary garnered a pre-roll video completion rate of 73%.

Debra Harris, vice president of marketing, pharma and CPG at Condé Nast, said, " 'Well, Actually’ helps viewers learn the truth about important health issues today, when the world is more rampant than ever with misinformation, and it shines a light on the racial disparities in health outcomes that we see all too often in the U.S.”

Online Video or Film: 'Well, Actually'