Product / ServiceNOT APPLICABLE
CategoryF04. Social Behaviour & Cultural Insight
Idea Creation 2 McCANN HEALTH Seoul, SOUTH KOREA


Name Company Position
Jay Kim Weber Shandwick Executive Vice President
Insook Park Weber Shandwick Account Director
Minny Mun Weber Shandwick Senior Associate
Martin Han Weber Shandwick Creative Director
JH Yoon Weber Shandwick Creative Director
Wonki Baek Weber Shandwick Senior Producer
Wanny Lim Weber Shandwick Senior Copywriter
Yonah Lee Weber Shandwick Associate Producer
Jaehoon Kim Weber Shandwick Senior Videographer
BH Ahn McCann Health Creative Director
Hyun Lee McCann Health Creative Technologist
Dongkyun Nam Eisai Korea Marketing Team Leader
Yongjun Han Eisai Korea Product Manager
Minjun Choi CoCo Entertainment Performance Director

Why is this work relevant for PR?

In the past, awareness campaigns on dementia were focused on patients and caregivers. Most other members of society lack general awareness of what the condition entails. This work employs technology and the art of children’s storytelling to make dementia easier to comprehend and discuss among family members. The idea was novel and inspiring, generating extensive media coverage for its creativity and impact in helping children cope with the realization that a loved one (usually a grandparent) is impaired by the condition, and in educating people on what they can do to support sufferers.


How do you even begin explaining to your child why their grandmother no longer remembers their name? Dementia is an incurable mental condition that is suffered by 749,000 Koreans. That number is expected to rise to over 3 million by 2050. It is emotionally difficult when a loved one is afflicted, and children who witness this suffer the most as parents lack ways to help them understand. As a partner of Korea’s National Institute of Dementia, Eisai wanted to empower families help kids cope, while increasing understanding about the condition so that they can recognize its symptoms and get early treatment.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

These insights inspired us to cultivate awareness of dementia from a very young age so that the younger generation of Koreans grow up being aware of the condition, the signs to look for, and how to get help. Our big idea is to let the conversation about dementia be led by the most unlikely of groups: not healthcare providers, not specialists, not key opinion leaders (KOLs), but children. That inspired us to turn to the world of fairy tales. Working with experts in child psychology in partnership with Korea’s National Institute of Dementia, we authored a children’s book entitled “Who Sprinkled Salt on My Cake?” It tells the story of a princess whose encounter with dementia begins when her mother bakes a cake using salt instead of sugar.

Describe the strategy (30% of vote)

The strategy was to use engaging storytelling techniques that employed language, themes and imagery that is relatable to young readers, and leads to cross-generational conversations about dementia – a topic that is not typically discussed among family members. Ultimately, the campaign would generate open discussions that involve children, their parents, teachers and healthcare providers. Even though media exposure was not a key deliverable, but the idea was crafted to be an interesting news hook for its novel approach in educating the public about dementia. For the first time, parents are equipped with a tool to help them engage their children in talking about the realities of the condition.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

With the help of illustrators, animators and technologists we created a magical Augmented Reality storybook that made dementia easy to understand. The AR technology made the characters appear animated when seen through a smartphone, making the story intriguing and exciting to young readers who were motivated to read the book again and again. The children engaged their parents to read it with them, generating awareness and healthy conversations about dementia between parent and child. Copies of the book were distributed to children throughout Korea via 274 childcare institutions and 109 schools and children’s libraries. As part of Korea’s National World Dementia Day events that were held in eight different locations across the country, we set up large-scale models of the book and worked with a renowned theatre company to stage a children’s musical that helped bring the story to life in an entertainingly educational way.

List the results (30% of vote) – must include at least two of the following tiers:

The campaign was widely covered by major print and broadcast channels, helping generate huge demand from institutions and schools for the AR book. Within one week, 22,000 books had made their way into Korean households, dementia centres, schools and libraries. An extra 8,000 copies had to be printed in response to high demand, bringing the total of copies in circulation to 30,000 – enough to land it on most bestseller lists if it was for sale! As a result, the campaign had to be extended by 6 months than originally planned. A quote by a parent of two sums up the impact of the campaign: “I did not know how to explain to my daughters about dementia. This AR book really helped me. Now, the whole family openly talks it. This has never happened before.” These results indicate that the approach is resonating with families, who until now, had little means in explaining and helping children understand what dementia is, why a family member (usually a grandparent) is suffering from it, and what other people can do to support them.

Please tell us about the social behaviour and/or cultural insights that inspired your campaign

Although it is incurable, dementia is manageable if diagnosed early. However, people tend to ignore symptoms until it’s too late. Despite numerous public education efforts by the government, awareness about its symptoms remained low among regular Koreans. Children who witness their loved ones with the condition suffer a great deal too, as they lack understanding of what dementia is and why their elderly family members act the way they do. According to the Survey Report on the Awareness of Dementia in Seoul, Nov. 2015 by the Seoul Metropolitan Dementia Centre, only 24.9% of Koreans above the age of 19 were "fully aware” of dementia, while 47.3% of the respondents in their 20s said they do not know anything about dementia. Most public education and campaign programs on dementia were focused on patients, caregivers and the older populace, which explains why awareness was low among other groups, particularly young people.