Turning a cry of agony into an anthem of hope

“Monster Pain in My Back”

A disease awareness campaign to help young people detect Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), a rare degenerative disease. The idea featured Mexican superstar Ely Guerra who swapped her soft style for an uncharacteristically hard metal sound in a new song.


The challenge

AS is a rare type of degenerative arthritis that silently affects young people – and without treatment, progresses until the spine fuses together causing irreversible damage. The challenge is that it’s very hard to recognize and only 1 in 20 people with AS receive a timely diagnosis. To alert millions of the “monster” they had never heard about, we convinced a pop superstar to change her melodic style to heavy metal and garner attention.

The solution

We created Monster Pain in My Back – an integrated strategy including digital, creative and PR – to drive awareness of Ankylosing Spondylitis in an unexpected way.

A new era for disease awareness campaigns

The new single – composed specifically for the campaign and launched by the Mexican superstar, Ely Guerra – talked about the pain and anxiety that Spondylitis causes and the journey toward the hope of a regular life thanks to a correct diagnosis and treatment. We also produced a video, which visually depicted the darkness of uncertainty and the light of hope to those facing the condition.


From years… to just minutes

Throughout the campaign, we leveraged patient-based evidence with engaging stories, raising the urgency to treat the disease. So if a patient was identified with the symptoms of AS, they could connect with a nearby rheumatologist through a doctors database and effectively reduce the time needed for diagnosis. We shortened the patient diagnosis journey of 8 to 10 years… to just minutes.

2021: Influencer Marketing (GOLD), Best in show - Latin America & 6th place worldwide

2021: Direct response (GOLD), Social Responsibility and Public Service (BRONZE) & Influencer and Talent (BRONZE)

2021: LATAM Awards - Influencer (Gold)