Versus Arthritis: Discovering a new way to raise awareness of the burden and impact of this downplayed disease area

Versus Arthritis: Discovering a new way to raise awareness of the burden and impact of this downplayed disease area

Versus Arthritis is the UK's largest charity dedicated to supporting people with arthritis. It was launched in 2018, following the merger of the two leading arthritis charities in the UK, Arthritis Research UK and Arthritis Care. The new organisation wanted to have a stronger presence, create greater awareness and encourage people to take arthritis more seriously.

We worked with Versus Arthritis and MC Saatchi to help deliver a new tone of voice and positioning as well as more contemporary identity for the brand. We employed both on- and offline methods with arthritis patients and their family, friends and carers. We found that patients constantly downplayed their arthritis to others, and even to themselves. This created all types of issues with relationships both personal and professional. It was also clear that patients would appreciate advocacy but also an understanding community of peers.

The new advertising campaign was launched in 2020 to coincide with World Arthritis Day. The campaign has received critical praise and widespread PR and attention for its dramatic and provocative advocacy of arthritis. It has created a strong base for future communications amongst patients, potential donors and decision makers.