By leveraging the power of music and natural sounds, Edelman helped Viatris Korea break social taboo around neuropathic pain to build awareness and drive treatment for this chronic pain.
Neuropathic pain affects 1 in 10 people worldwide. It is characterized by invisible symptoms, like burning pain and numbness, and can lead to sleep disorders, anxiety and depression. Early diagnosis is crucial to preventing chronic pain and complications.
In Korea, however, pain is seen as something ‘normal’ that comes with age and should be tolerated, alone. This social taboo and lack of understanding prevents sufferers from seeking treatment or support, leading to late diagnoses and emotional isolation.
To help Koreans Recognize, Express and gain Diagnoses for neuropathic pain, Viatris Korea challenged Edelman to create an idea that would garner attention, start conversation, raise awareness, increase understanding and ultimately lead more Koreans to seek diagnosis and treatment.
To break the social taboo around neuropathic pain in Korea, we first had to get people to acknowledge it—we had to make the unheard, heard.
Music and sounds can be used as a form of therapy and relief, so we approached this challenge with a therapy-first mindset to create a resource for those affected with neuropathic pain. So we created "Listen To Your Pain," an album of ambient music tracks created entirely from recordings of unnoticed sounds from the natural world, woven together to create a visceral sensory experience for the listener—or sufferer of neuropathic pain.
The goal for this album was to open conversations about “pain” and encourage empathy and support from the relatives and friends of sufferers.
We partnered with acclaimed Korean songwriter Lucid Fall to bring the "Listen to Your Pain" album to life. Firstly, we identified sounds from the natural world that often go unnoticed to highlight the unacknowledged experiences of neuropathic pain sufferers. We then collected those sounds, layered and combined them to create therapeutic soundscapes that employed musical therapy techniques to bring relief to sufferers and evoke empathy and understanding amongst others.
The music tracks were released across 18 streaming services, ensuring widespread access. To properly launch the album, we developed a campaign film, detailing how the soundscapes were created, and we also launched a campaign website as a platform to provide accurate information and treatment resources for neuropathic pain. To amplify our efforts, we ran out-of-home banner ads, online ads and launched a full-scale media campaign to generate further conversation.
Additionally, we partnered with the Korea Medical Assistance Foundation to create the "RED-y Fund" to support treatment costs and social rehabilitation for low-income patients suffering from neuropathic pain. All profits generated from people streaming "Listen To Your Pain" will be donated to the fund for the next two years, allowing for quality treatment for patients.
The campaign gained national coverage, over-delivered on its KPIs and led to an amazing 35% increase in people seeking treatment for neuropathic pain in Korea.