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Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Could It Be HCM? Campaign Featuring Jared Butler

Finalist in Short Form Video

Entered in Integrated Campaign, Multi-Platform Partnership, Pharma & Healthcare


Situation Analysis
HCM can be a serious heart condition, yet most people with HCM don’t even know they have it. Only ~100,000 patients in the U.S. are estimated to be diagnosed with HCM, which suggests that approximately 85% may be undiagnosed. And even though sudden cardiac death (SCD) from HCM is rare, the risk of death is still substantially higher for both younger people (ages 20-29) and older people (ages 50-69) who have HCM compared to the U.S. general population.

Campaign Objectives:
Encourage those experiencing possible symptoms of HCM to talk to their healthcare provider to learn more.

High level project overview
The Could it Be HCM? Campaign was created to increase awareness of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), only ~100,000 patients in the US are currently estimated to be diagnosed with HCM, and other estimates suggest that approximately 85%§ may remain undiagnosed.[i],[ii],[iii] This celebrity activation allowed us to maximize collaborative efforts around paid, earned, shared and owned media to supplement the kick-off of our campaign and allow it to come together.

We partnered with professional basketball player Jared Butler and his mom, Juanea, to tell his HCM story publicly for the first-time.

Through Jared’s story we were able to authentically connect with audiences on the condition and garner national attention raising awareness for HCM.

Based on 2013 ICD-9 claims data analysis (N=169,089,614): An estimated ~700,000 overall US prevalence of HCM (1. ~100,000 patients with diagnosed HCM [based on 2013 US Census population], 2. ~600,000 patients with undiagnosed HCM [based on analysis’ assumption that 1-in-500 prevalence represents clinically unrecognized cases]).

§ Estimated undiagnosed range calculated using prevalence of 1:500, estimated US population (332,330,571 in May 2021), and estimated diagnosed population (~100,000).
† The 2015 Semsarian publication identified that the prevalence of HCM gene carriers could be as high as 1 in 200.

* The 1995 CARDIA study, a multicenter, US-population-based echocardiography study of 4111 subjects (aged 23-35) identified the prevalence of HCM as 1:500 people in the general population.

^ Data from the SHaRe registry (Sarcomeric Human Cardiomyopathy Registry) sites were compared with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention WONDER database to estimate US general population mortality rates from 1999 to 2014.19

[i] Semsarian C, Ingles J, Maron MS, Maron BJ. New perspectives on the prevalence of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015;65(12):1249-1254

[ii] Maron MS, Hellawell JL, Lucove JC, Farzaneh-Far R, Olivotto I. Occurrence of clinically diagnosed hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in the United States. Am J Cardiol. 2016;117(10):1651-1654.

[iii] United States Census Bureau. U.S. and world population clock. Accessed May 14, 2021.

Strategy and Execution

Research & Insights
To determine the best way to reach patients who may be suffering, BMS and Real Chemistry, BGB Group and Eversana InTouch conducted a suite of market research led by the research company, Brado, to conduct primary research, message testing, qualitative campaign testing, quantitative testing and social/digital/search analysis.

Insight: Undiagnosed/misdiagnosed patients may feel frustrated, isolated, afraid – and looking for an answer to explain their symptoms.


Execution & Tactics, the campaign cornerstone, created by InTouch, provides important information about HCM and support tools (downloadable symptom guide, doctor discussion guide) for people experiencing symptoms. Its signature visual is the striking “web of symptoms,” a symbolic depiction of a person held back by potentially unexplained symptoms, which leads to a question they may not have considered: “Could It Be HCM?” 

Real Chemistry identified and recruited to bring the challenges of an HCM diagnosis to life -- the 2021 Final Four Most Outstanding Player and professional basketball player Jared Butler. Jared was diagnosed as a college freshman during a routine physical examination at his school. Following his diagnosis, Jared’s mother Juanea underwent genetic testing and learned she carried the HCM genes. Revealing Jared’s diagnosis for the first time in a compelling and authentic story with his mom created much-needed awareness around the signs and symptoms of HCM, and the little-known fact that HCM is the most common inheritable heart disease.

Real Chemistry produced a "Hero Video" and short-form video featuring Jared, his mother and a cardiologist, which was distributed as organic and paid content on BMS and Jared’s social channels.

Could It Be HCM was brought to life with a carefully targeted multichannel campaign that included:


By shedding light on this disease, BMS spurred potential HCM patients to action. It will continue to build on this commitment to the HCM community in the months and years to come.

We drove people to the website and motivated >500,000 to talk to their doctors!

Earned outreach drove traffic to

Paid targeted multiple platforms and top channels


Video for Could It Be HCM? Campaign Featuring Jared Butler

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Real Chemistry (+BGB Group, InTouch, Havas, PHM), Bristol Myers Squibb


Entry Credits