The World Health Organisation wanted to highlight common communication challenges between health and finance ministries, and how health officials can better communicate their value and needs.
They required a piece of content that would help establish this sentiment at the opening of a global conference on the subject, as well as be evergreen so it could be used beyond the event on their wider digital channels.
The film needed to present the viewpoint of both ministries and how they can move together cohesively, in an engaging and light tone, which led us to a very specific individual – Geert van Maanen. Geert had led senior roles within both ministries in the Netherlands and so, we had him play himself as finance official opposite himself as health official arguing over a funding issue. This allowed us to being humour and levity to a very technical, and often frustrating, topic, often playing on stereotypical issues raised by both sides of the argument.
We had to work in close collaboration with WHO staff on the script to ensure we created a successful film within some unique constraints – working with a non-professional performer, covering a long list of ‘must-have’ messaging points, and holding the attention of a serious, intelligent audience.
The film debuted as part of the opening events at a European health systems conference in Tallinn. It was well-received, and set the tone for a very productive discussion on the topic through the rest of the conference.
Our main contact at WHO wrote just a few days later to say that ‘it went over a storm’ and that they had already ‘had numerous requests for its use at other events’. He went on to say ‘just as much the quality of the final product, it was great working with you all; thanks for being so responsive and, above all, understanding and patient, especially around legal issues, logos, and the contract and production details.’