Medulla Communications' film on palliative care gets 200 nurses to share screen space

By Snehojit Khan , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | February 25, 2016
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Titled 'Last Words', the Indian Association of Palliative Care's campaign aims to educate the masses about the form of specialised medical care.

There may not be a lot of people who know what exactly palliative care is. The full-service digital agency, Medulla communications, has therefore, released a new campaign titled 'Last Words' for the Indian Association of Palliative Care with the aim to make people aware about palliative care.

Directed by Rahul Sengupta of A Nineteen Films, the campaign was released by the Human Rights Commissioner at the Indian Association of Palliative Care conference held between February 12-14, 2016, in Pune, before an audience of more than 500 healthcare professionals and healthcare agencies.

The campaign was released digitally on February 24, and may be released as a TVC as well, depending on the agency.

Indian Association of Palliative care's Last Words campaign

Palliative care or care during one's last few days is not a known concept in the country with just one in 100 patients actually receiving it. To create awareness about it, or in this case, the lack of it, has been the biggest hurdle for the association, and this film is an attempt to popularise it.

Indian Association of Palliative care's Last Words campaign

The film highlights the role of the nursing staff that happens to be present to hear the last words of dying patients, which even the patients' family members sometimes don't. When nurses across India recount the last words they have heard, it raises the all-important question -- do not the dying deserve dignity? Should not the quality of death be as important as the quality of life?

Indian Association of Palliative care's Last Words campaign

The creative agency had to interview nearly 200 nurses who shared their unique real-life experiences about palliative care. After scrutinising the stories, the agency went ahead with some nurses who appear in the video to share their own experiences about it. The campaign is more of an initiative with the aim to educate the masses about this particular medical concept. The video revolves around a conversation whose main subject is palliative care.

Amit Akali

Praful Akali

Speaking about the campaign, Amit Akali, chief creative officer, Medulla Communications, What's Your Problem, says, "This is certainly not just an ad project, it's a cause that's very close to our heart. In fact, the 'recipe' incident in the video is inspired by what happened to our mother. At that point, my family had no clue that anything like palliative care existed - if we did, we would have offered it to her."

Even today, most people have no clue about palliative care, informs Akali. "This project is a tiny attempt to question the current medical system, get people to start a conversation on palliative care, and finally pledge to opt for it. The campaign has garnered very good responses until now on social media, and we hope that it would be more popular among the audience," he says.

According to Praful Akali, founder director, Medulla Communications, says, "The whole process was vast and is a part of a bigger extensive initiative. We interviewed 200 real-life nurses who narrated their experiences regarding palliative care. We had to research and find out the authenticity of the stories. A few nurses were then selected and were showcased in the video. This is more of a social awareness campaign rather than a promotional one."

Medulla Communications is a healthcare and pharmaceutical communications agency which was started by Praful Akali seven years ago.Its client portfolio includes healthcare and pharma companies such as Johnson and Johnson, GSK, Novartis, Pfizer, P&G, among others. Last year Amit Akali joined as chief creative officer of the agency. Praful and Amit together also started What's Your Problem, a digital focused full service agency. What's Your Problem, along with its sister agency Medulla Communications (a full-service healthcare and pharma agency), provides services in strategy, social media, SEO, SEM, digital media planning, analytics, YouTube marketing, web-development, art and design, UI/ UX, copy and content, video production, and animation.

The Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPC) was set up on March 16, 1994, in consultation with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the government of India as a national forum to connect, support and motivate individuals and institutions involved in palliative care. The 23rd International Conference of the Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPCON) was held from February 12-14 at Hotel Hyatt Regency, Pune.

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