A chronic migraine and a sunny summer’s day in Cannes are two things that don’t necessarily go hand in hand. But we put the hooray in headaches when our work with DDB Remedy for Excedrin – “The Migraine Experience” – was awarded one Silver and two Bronze Lions at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
Picking up the awards in the festival’s Health & Wellness category for its imagination, visual impact and digital ingenuity, this was a project designed to help Excedrin express the true pain of migraine by enabling others to see through a sufferer’s eyes. And we did this by custom-building the world’s first migraine simulator.
Using a virtual reality platform to create a headset that brought the thumping pain, disorientation, floating spots and sensitivity of a migraine to dizzying life, it was a considerable technological challenge that we’re proud to have pulled off – wowing users, despite leaving them a little unsteady on their feet.
But perhaps what really got the Cannes crowds clucking was the project’s use of technical nitty gritty for greater human good. By streaming a real-time video feed into the software, programmed to overlay personalised migraine symptoms onto the screen, it allowed users to feel empathy for migraine sufferers, increased their understanding of the symptoms and made them much more likely to recommend Excedrin to others.
And if we’re able to break technological boundaries, relieve the world’s headaches, and languish in the French sunshine drinking champagne with awards in our hand – all in a day’s work – then we must be doing something right.