CLIENT : Hospis Malaysia
  CAMPAIGN : Palliative Care   Awareness Campaign

Making death a talking point

Every year, over 35 million people die from some form of chronic life-limiting illness. However, not many people (including policy makers) are aware of palliative care – what it does and how it benefits society.

Talking about death is taboo amongst Asians and this makes talking about palliative care or end of life care seem very remote.

Getting people to improve their quality of life

Together with Hospis Malaysia, we wanted to raise awareness for palliative care and to promote conversations about the subject. Our long-term goal was for our campaign to form a basis to standardise palliative care in our healthcare system.

As a starting point to encourage conversations about palliative care, we developed a symbol for palliative care – one that could work in every language, across all cultures, and convey a message to augment the typical way palliative care is explained.

We created a two-pronged campaign. Using celebrities as advocates, we leveraged their strong influence to create awareness about palliative care, with speed. Through the testimonies of hospice patients, we demonstrated the role palliative care played in creating a positive end of life journey for themselves and their families.

The symbol was launched at a photo exhibition featuring video testimonies of patients, and stories from celebrities via QR codes placed on the photos displayed. To spark conversations about palliative care, we featured a real time dynamic ‘Tweet wall’, where the public could contribute their bucket list goals or lifelong aspirations with hashtags. We also installed old school blackboards for visitors to chalk down their “Before I die” wishes.

All our communications led to a website where visitors could pledge their support for palliative care. The website also provided more information on palliative care, and acted as a hub for the campaign work.

Death is no longer a taboo subject

The campaign gained cross-media coverage worth RM1 million, creating awareness and conversation starters for palliative care. In digital space, it reached a potential total of more than 1.6 million social media exposures.

With growing support pledges on our website and more than 900 posts generated on social media with #PalCareMY. Visitors on our website spent an average of nearly 10 minutes on the website, suggesting interest to find out more about palliative care.

The overwhelming response is paving the way towards greater awareness about Palliative Care. Our client, Hospis Malaysia and ourselves are greatly encouraged that the conversation on palliative care has not stopped and support pledges are still increasing.