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May 11, 2022


  • We worked with a leading life sciences company to raise cancer awareness and address the concerns of millions of patients and thousands of doctors in a region where the disease is a stigma.
  • As life sciences and healthcare companies focus on patient-centered care, pharma brands need a different kind of sensitivity, expertise, and exposure to influence doctors and patients.
  • A patient’s story of hope, success, and survival inspires others to become more aware and hopeful about improving the quality of their lives.
  • Technology enables all the stakeholders to interact with one another, bridging the gap between patients, healthcare professionals, and pharma companies.
  • Pharma marketing campaigns can impact and transform lives. 

The need for cancer awareness

Awareness campaigns aren’t just marketing tools, they save lives

One of our pharma customers recently asked us to support them in a campaign for cancer awareness in Mexico. “This campaign is a critical part of our mission to transform the lives of cancer patients living in Mexico,” the client said. We understood the challenges such as being able to quickly launch a campaign which addresses the concerns of millions of patients and thousands of doctors in a region where cancer is a dreadful disease and a stigma. It is in regions where awareness is quite low and the state of healthcare is not as mature as in the developed world.

To be able to work on such projects, a thorough and empathetic understanding of psychological and socio-cultural aspects is critical, given the people, their sensitivities, the impact of cancer on their lives, and prevalent practices and perceptions.

The insight our customer shared with us brought the much-needed yet oft-neglected human perspective to the project. We looked at it in a whole new light—not just as pharma campaign experts, but as people who, in more ways than one, have been affected by diseases such as cancer.

Our customer informed us that there aren’t many good cancer awareness online sources in Mexico. By ‘good’, they meant sources that provide regional and contextual yet reliable, authentic, and useful information about the possibilities, treatment options, medication, therapies, dos and don’ts, and ways of managing cancer. In a nutshell, a good go-to source of cancer information specific to the conditions in Mexico.

Finding reliable sources of information

In times of information overload, reliability and accuracy are paramount

We live in a world dominated by the internet, mobile applications, and social media and our dependence on these for reliable health information is fast-growing. Critical medical information, even though at our fingertips and in humongous quantities, is cluttered, scattered, and unreliable. Finding the right information instantly, is challenging.

We contemplated our approach, as the project had the potential to impact and save lives. The question assumed an existential import. Patients and doctors depend on pharmaceutical companies for possibilities, life-saving remedies, and hope. The entire well-being of humanity and its future rests with pharma companies. 

With life sciences and healthcare companies focusing on patient-centered health and wellness solutions, how can pharma brands positively influence doctors and patients? This called for a different kind of sensitivity, expertise, and exposure.

Our customer’s campaign would resonate with the target audience only if it opened a window to a world of possibilities, since the beneficiaries of the campaign were cancer patients, some terminally ill. Moreover, healthcare professionals (HCPs) also expected the campaign to increase their awareness regarding the latest medical research findings, insights, perspectives, and treatment options available in the region. This is the very raison d'être of pharma companies dedicated to producing life-saving drugs and medical treatments for patients.

Tell a story – save a life

Patient engagement, accessibility, and real-time patient outcomes have assumed center stage in the current times. A patient’s story of hope, success, and survival through a blog or a vlog, inspires others to become more aware and hopeful about improving the quality of their lives.

At the heart of such a campaign design is nothing but creative thinking applied to emerging trends in storytelling and pharma marketing communication. Technology helps all stakeholders stay connected seamlessly. It gives them options to communicate, interact, and share with one another, thereby bridging the gap between patients, HCPs, and pharma companies. Guiding all the stakeholders through this process, helping them write and share human-interest stories that have the potential to touch lives, calls for technology and domain expertise, and imaginative abilities in storytelling.

The campaign was a success, thanks to patient and HCP-centered creative storytelling. Real, authentic, relatable, and optimistic stories can positively impact people’s lives. For that to happen, articulation becomes critical.

Pharma campaigns – the vehicle of hope

In the world of life sciences, looking at campaigns merely as part of marketing can be very myopic and possibly detrimental. Campaigns transform lives.

Part of our customer’s mission is to be perceived as a company that is pushing the boundaries and transforming the lives of cancer patients. In three months, our customer increased cancer awareness among target groups in Mexico. Spotlighting human stories through campaigns improved brand adoption.

Hope is a powerful thing. And it paves the way for a better life. That we played a role in a project benefitting cancer patients is fulfilling. We will always derive inspiration from the fact that we were a behind-the-scenes part of their life-transforming journeys.

Siddhartha Gigoo is a content and communications specialist. He has been with TCS for over 24 years now and works closely with life sciences customers on initiatives that involve creative conceptualization and storytelling. He is also a Commonwealth Prize-winning author and creative thinker. He holds a master’s degree in literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.


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