Takeda: I Am Number 17

People living with rare diseases are often marginalised, facing lengthy waits and multiple visits to doctors simply to receive a diagnosis. While seemingly uncommon, in fact 1 in 17 people in the UK are affected by a rare disease. I am number 17 is a campaign to make their voices heard.

In the competitive landscape of health causes, the rare disease community suffers from low awareness and, as a result, a lack of prioritisation from the public, policy makers and other key decision makers.  To try to remedy this, Takeda enlisted H+K London to help raise awareness of rare diseases in the UK and drive support for the communities affected.

Together H+K strategies and Takeda UK identified 17 changemakers from across the UK – 17 people living with, or caring for someone living with, a rare disease. We paired the 17 changemakers with 17 artists to represent their experience of living with a rare disease through art, which was launched at an exclusive event at London’s OXO Gallery.

The launch was a huge success and the campaign was ultimately endorsed and promoted by 13 rare disease organisations: an incredible level of support. The campaign was further endorsed by Baroness Blackwood, who recorded a video message of support, and Dr Richard Scott from Genomics England, who delivered a speech at the launch event.

The campaign received nationwide recognition, with 59 pieces of broadcast coverage reaching at least 4 million people and a traditional press reach of over 12 million, which included interviews with Sky News, Metro, Yahoo and many regional news programmes. Furthermore, media and social coverage enabled us to continue building a strong community. Not only were individuals inspired to share their experiences online, they were given the chance to connect and join a movement that is bigger than a single campaign. This was demonstrated with over 500 social media posts over launch using the #IAmNumber17, with a potential reach of 1.31M and included no paid spend.

H+K is proud to have worked with Takeda UK to create the I am number 17 campaign. The campaign is dedicated to affecting real change for those living with rare diseases and, far from being a one-off event, will be a long-term movement to support everyone impacted.

Sector: Health + Wellness
Specialist expertise: People + Purpose, Content + Publishing Strategy
Office: London