The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

No Time to Wait with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Entered in Multi-Platform Partnership, Pharma & Healthcare, Stories, Storytelling


Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is the most common type of irregular heartbeat and increases the risk of stroke by about five times. Yet many people with AFib may dismiss or ignore their symptoms because the symptoms may come and go or can be mistaken for other conditions and remain undiagnosed. No Time to Wait (NTTW) was originally launched in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic to emphasize the importance of seeing a doctor when experiencing symptoms that may indicate AFib, or another condition. Many people ignore symptoms and/or delay care.

As the pandemic waned, it became clear through market research that many people experiencing symptoms were continuing to ignore their symptoms, potentially putting them at greater risk for AFib-related stroke.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was diagnosed with AFib through a journey like many others: he ignored his symptoms because they would come and go – until he couldn’t ignore them any longer and wound up in the hospital.

With a longstanding commitment to raising awareness about diseases and conditions, Kareem became the main face of NTTW, a refreshed and fully integrated unbranded campaign with the goal of motivating patients experiencing common symptoms to speak with a doctor to better care for their condition.


Target audience
People experiencing common symptoms that may be due to AFib (persistent or paroxysmal), ages 50+, who are undiagnosed and at-risk.



A 30-minute online survey of undiagnosed, symptomatic people about their attitudes and behaviors about AFib showed:


Many people experiencing symptoms may feel their bodies are trying to get their attention, but the intermittency and the perceived insignificance of symptoms can lead to self-doubt, hesitation to discuss with a doctor, or make them simply forget about the symptoms. They don’t realize that even if symptoms are mild, or come and go, AFib can be serious due to its increased risk of stroke.


Kareem reflected intimately on his symptoms and diagnosis journey, bravely discussing what led to his diagnosis. He reminded individuals to take their symptoms seriously and speak with a healthcare professional.

The campaign grabbed attention at home, in media coverage, on the radio and on social platforms. All of these touchpoints directed people to, which prominently features Kareem’s compelling story and a symptom guide, potential questions for individuals to ask their healthcare professionals and more.





No Time to Wait is moving people to action! Since the campaign re-launched in February 2023:


Video for No Time to Wait with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Real Chemistry and Heartbeat, BMS-Pfizer Alliance


Entry Credits