303 MullenLowe has teamed up with Australia’s peak allergy bodies, the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) and Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) to develop and launch ‘250K’ – a go to resource for the 250,000 young Australians living with severe allergies.
The project, funded by the Australian government, began as a result of a survey conducted by the National Allergy Strategy team, which revealed an alarming number of teenagers with severe allergies were avoiding telling their friends about their condition and choosing not to carry their Epipen to avoid ‘standing out’ at school or in their social circles.
The team spent a number of months working with this group of young Australians to better understand what tools and support they needed to overcome the social and emotional challenges attached to being a young Australian coping with severe allergies and together, developed 250K in response.
Group Managing Director Derry Simpson says this was a project that everyone in the agency was very passionate about.
“It was heartbreaking to hear about the challenges this group was facing every day. Being a teenager is hard enough, without feeling like you’re different all the time. Many of these kids avoided going out with their friends so they didn’t draw attention to themselves and some hadn’t even told anyone around them they had an allergy which is dangerous in itself.”
Simpson says: “What they all wanted was a place they could go that was just for them. Somewhere they could find the answers to their questions and the tools and resources they needed to help them have conversations about their allergies with their friends. And a place where they could share their stories and talk to others their own age, who are going through the same thing. And that’s exactly what 250K is designed to be.”
Peter Liddell, Head of Digital at 303 MullenLowe says: “It’s really rewarding to see how the youth advisory group have responded to the 250K.org.au website. They found the content really useful and relatable but in a really fun way. They love the animated characters and are asking for even more. So in response, we’ll be optimising the site and launching some additional functionality over coming weeks to allow kids to "share their feels” and to create and share their own avatars. Over time we’re looking to add Snapchat geo-filters targeted to allergy clinics and related medical centres. These will be important tools in socially enabling the campaign, de-stigmatising the problem amongst teens and generally increasing awareness of the issue.”
Maria Said, Co-chair of the National Allergy Strategy and CEO of Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA), said, “Increasing awareness around allergy management is vitally important, particularly amongst young people aged in their teens up to early twenties, when people may be reluctant to share information about their severe allergy, and may not be as vigilant about avoiding allergens. This new website provides teens and young adults with the information that they’ve asked for, to help enable them to live safely and independently. The resource is designed to engage, interest and inform them.”