September 30, 2021

Intouch Pro Bono Work Spotlights Genetic Disorder Affecting Kids

Boy in a bear suit standing in a dark paneled living room

Every now and then, Intouch has an opportunity to take on a pro bono project that we hope will make a deep impact on a patient community whose voice needs extra amplification. One such community is patients living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Duchenne MD) and the families and friends who love them.

But First, What’s Duchenne MD?
Duchenne MD is an incurable and fatal genetic disorder that gradually makes the body’s muscles weaker. The condition affects boys more than girls (one out of every 5,000 boys!), and it gets worse with age. Children who have Duchenne MD may start walking later than average; they may also run slowly, fall often, have trouble going up steps, walk on the toes or balls of the feet, and have learning difficulties. Over time, as muscle weakness progresses, heart and breathing problems can also arise.

What Was the Project?
Kindness Over Muscular Dystrophy is a nonprofit organization created by the parents of Conner Curran, who was diagnosed with Duchenne MD at age 4. Their nonprofit’s mission is to bring together family and friends in support of charitable giving for muscular dystrophy research. In short, Intouch’s goal was to increase awareness about Duchenne MD and encourage attendance at a recent fundraising event – the proceeds would be directed toward medical and scientific research aimed at ending this disease. This year’s event raised a record-breaking $258,000.00.

Young boy smiling with fists in the air, as if showing off his biceps.
Conner Curran shows his fierceness.

How Did Intouch Help?
The theme was “Kind to Each Other, Fierce Against MD,” so, in collaboration with award-winning photographer Ale Burset and led by Intouch SVP, executive director of craft, Nicholas Capanear and a cross-network team including VP, creative director Ron Larson; director of creative technology Craig Johnston; associate creative director Tracy McGowan; and senior social media analyst Annie Mulvey. The campaign message is “Muscular Dystrophy can take away the ability to smile, but it can never take inner strength to fight it.” We linked it to custom, in-house-developed Instagram/Facebook augmented-reality filters shareable socially via mobile devices. The filters encouraged supporters to choose their favorite fierce animal, and through the filter, “become” the animal. When they move their heads, the animal moves theirs. When they snarl, the animal snarls.

Image showing QR codes and instructions for using the Fierce app via Instagram or Facebook
Boy in a bear suit, standing in a darkened living room.
“Muscular dystrophy stole my smile but it can never steal my fierce determination.”
 
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a rare genetic disease that robs children of the ability to walk, breath and even smile. With your help we can find treatments that will put smiles on our kids’ faces once again.

Doing Well by Doing Good
Along with helping spread awareness about this debilitating and (currently) fatal disease and helping out this wonderful family, this project won Silver in Graphis 2022 Advertising Annual and will be featured in the latest edition of Lürzer’s Archive Magazine Vol. 3+4/2021 – watch for that link when it becomes available!