Okay, we’re extra proud of this one.

A few years ago, our CEO Stephen was diagnosed with a condition called haemochromatosis.

Yeah, he hadn’t heard of it either.

But here’s the thing, it’s actually the most common genetic condition in Northern Ireland.

Around 1 in 10 of us are at risk – they even call it the ‘Celtic Curse’ because it’s so prevalent here.

The condition can be fatal if untreated, so people really need to be aware of it.

So we decided to help.


The Ask

We spoke to Haemochromatosis UK, the UK’s only charity working to support people affected by this condition.

They had supported Stephen when he was diagnosed and now we wanted to return the favour.

Together, we set ourselves an ambitious task: let’s create an NI-wide awareness campaign.

We wanted it on TV screens, radios, bus-stops and social feeds across the region.

It was vital to bring this to public attention and put it in the spotlight – literally a matter of life and death.

Image Source: Heamachromatosis UK


The Challenge

How do you get people talking about a condition they’ve never heard of?

And what if it’s a condition they can barely pronounce?

Benchmarking research revealed that only 22% of NI adults had heard of the word ‘Haemochromatosis’, and just 13% of people in said they knew anything about it.

Then came the next big challenge: money.

The charity wasn’t in a position to fund the high-profile NI-wide awareness campaign this issue really deserved.

But it was so important, so we stepped in.

Genesis donated tens of thousands of pounds to make this campaign happen.

Some of our key suppliers also lent their support and we couldn’t have done it without them (thanks again, folks!*).


The Thinking

So, our plan was pretty straightforward: get everyone clued up on haemochromatosis, a condition not many have heard of.

We wanted to really grab people’s attention, get them engaged with something new, and give them a bit of an education on it.

Our aim was to highlight the risks involved and nudge folks to want to find out more.

Basically, we were looking to catch their eye and get them thinking, “Why haven’t I heard about this sooner?”


The Creative

Our campaign, “Haemo-wha?” was inspired by a universal experience. The moment anyone hears the word ‘haemochromatosis’, they can’t pronounce it.

In our TV and radio ads, we had a bunch of people from across Northern Ireland giving the pronunciation their best shot… with very mixed results.

But that wasn’t just for a laugh, the constant repetition of the word (or variations of it) meant it got stuck in people’s heads, even if they didn’t get it right straight away.


For the outdoor ads, we added common symptoms to the name, creating headlines like “Heamo-weak&sore-sis”.

It was a way flagging down anyone who found themselves experiencing those symptoms and get them to consider if haemochromatosis could be the cause.


Then we had a bit of fun with AI.

We fed it some of the wackiest mispronunciations we could think of, like “hen and chromy toeses”, and let it do its thing for our print and digital stuff.

The visuals it came up with were wild and really grabbed attention.

It was a creative way to break the ice on a serious topic, making the campaign memorable and sparking curiosity about haemochromatosis.


The Results

We’re proud to say our campaign more than DOUBLED haemochromatosis awareness in Northern Ireland.

Post-campaign tracking showed that 48% of NI adults had now heard of the word ‘haemochromatosis’ (22% pre-campaign) and 28% of people in NI knew a lot/a bit about the condition (13% pre-campaign).

We reached 56% of NI adults and delivered over million 5 million impacts via TV.

Radio and OOH both reached around 70% of the population while Press assets were seen by 40%.

Our Facebook activity earned 5,121 clicks, an average CTR of 1.71% and a low £0.23 CPC.

It reached 229,471 adults across NI and attracted 72,000 engagements.

We were honoured to work with Haemochromatosis UK on this campaign and delighted we could make it happen.

Hopefully, the increased awareness helps improve (and maybe even save) some lives in years to come


*Thanks to our generous and supportive suppliers

Carl Quinn, Andy Keil, The Sound House NI, Janine Cobain, ITV Media, Channel 4, Sky Media UK, Bauer Media Audio – Northern Ireland, Q Radio Ltd, U105 Radio, Mediahaus, The Irish News, National World plc, Reach, The Sun, Alpha Group, Spectator Group, NWIPP Group, Down Recorder, Impartial Reporter, PML Group NI, Ossa Media, Global, Clear Channel UK, Bravo, Omega, GAP, Image Zoo