Andrea Fjeld
Andrea Fjeld
Associate Editor

The ADHD Campaign That Keeps Your Attention

The European pharmaceutical company Janssen‐Cilag Ltd is on a mission to spread awareness of ADHD and to dispel the belief that the disorder isn’t real. The subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson recently created a non-branded animated film, ADHD: A Day in the Life, which explains the disorder’s reality from the perspective of a child living with it. Its microsite further supports the  cause, provoking an open and frank discussion. But will the campaign go viral? More than 100,000 views say it already has.

Janssen-Cilang Ltd engaged different groups of doctors, patients, parents, and teachers who have been affected in some way by ADHD in order to explain and clarify the disorder (which is often regarded as an excuse for bad behavior from kids who just need more discipline). Full disclosure: the video execution is the work of none other than, well, us — Story Worldwide. Please pardon the self-promotion. It’s just too post advertising not to publish it here.

This film educates the public and helps people understand what it’s like to live with the condition. It has also gotten them talking. People have weighed in on all sides — from the disbelievers to those who have grown up with ADHD. While there may be no consensus yet, at least it’s sparked the conversation.

Many pharma companies’ social-media attempts have been criticized because they haven’t encouraged much discussion. However, while comments on “ADHD: A Day in the Life” are reviewed and screened for those mentioning specific medications, the YouTube channel allows those from both ends to broadcast their opinions. The heated debate has received worldwide attention and gotten the video re-posted on plenty of pharmaceutical blogs.

Stories that don’t allow conversations to develop are less likely to spread, plain and simple. And there are always at least two sides to every one. Best to let them all be heard.