The overlooked heroes in healthcare are often clinical trial participants. These patients represent the foundation of getting new and better treatments FDA-approved and in the hands of the patients that need them. 

Eli Lilly’s “Hero’s Journey Art Project” is a multi-year program consisting of crowd-sourced works of art to inspire patients, raise awareness of Lilly’s clinical trial efforts and serve as a lasting memorial to clinical trial participants. This program had an added benefit of driving traffic to the Lilly TrialGuide website, which is their hub for patients to explore clinical research areas of focus the company has, and serve as a destination where interested patients can find clinical trial participation opportunities. 

The project consisted of distributing bricks across the country to patients, support groups and advocacy organizations. They were asked to share emotions associated with their condition, challenges, triumphs, or any other creative expression artistically. There were no rules to what go on a brick. The bricks were then to get sent back where they could be assembled together in an egg-shaped sculpture with 100s of bricks included. Three of these sculptures were developed, and sit across the country.

The Hero’s Journey Art Project was the perfect type of activity to be shared through social media. It’s an art project, so the visual nature of it made platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram natural settings for patients to share their unique creations. Events were held to unveil the sculptures built by the individual brick contributions. 

Key social media engagement:

  • 12K visits to and >100 people looking for trials
  • Over 1,600 tweets were published that included #herosjourneyart by over 400 unique Twitter users, earing over 30MM impressions
  • Over 100 media pieces (images and videos) were posted to Instagram by 40 unique users that included #herosjourneyart

This program was and is a unique approach to demonstrating the appreciation all people should have for clinical trial participants. It helped raised the visibility about clinical trials in general, and helped drive traffic to a key online property for Eli Lilly.

About the Author:

Michael leads digital patient engagement activities within Syneos Health’s Digital & Social Strategy team. He has over 14 years of experience in digital research methodologies and online data collection. He supports advertising program design, strategic direction and technical strategy to execute and optimize digital patient recruitment campaigns.