What are Hives?

Approaching urticaria patients with a light-hearted tone

What did the client need?

Our client wanted to launch a new dermatology product and sought a way to create awareness for the associated disease, called urticaria. An unbranded, easy-to-understand animation film was planned to be uploaded to a website where patients and interested lay audiences could inform themselves about this quite common skin rash. The client wanted the film to describe the symptoms and different forms of urticaria as well as the underlying mode of disease and how chronic urticaria can be treated. It was important not to lose the viewer’s attention throughout the complex story and to acknowledge the psychological strain that patients experience. The client wanted to communicate the take-home message that people with undefinable skin rash should seek for medical help first to tackle the root of the problem.

How did we meet this need?

We developed a Fast Sketch animation film of about 5 minutes that explains symptoms, causes, and types of chronic urticaria and how to deal with the disease. We developed a character called Julia who tells us about her experiences with the disease. Her colleague, an off-screen narrator, asks her about her feelings, encourages her to see a dermatologist, and is curious about the outcome of her visit at the doctor. These two characters guide through the story and ask and answer questions that the viewer would likely have. The heart of the film is a 1-minute mode of disease section that sheds light on the underlying pathogenic mechanism: In a simplified Fast Sketch style, the film shows how a mast cell, upon activation of its receptors, secretes the messenger molecule histamine that is responsible for the characteristic itching and swelling.

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