PHantasticals Campaign Launched to Raise Public Awareness About PH

Lindsey Shapiro, PhD avatar

by Lindsey Shapiro, PhD |

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To celebrate World Pulmonary Hypertension Day on May 5, Ferrer and the European Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA Europe) have launched the PHantasticals campaign to raise public awareness about rare and chronic lung diseases like pulmonary hypertension (PH).

The campaign features a collection of mermaid characters called the PHantasticals that will teach the public about PH through a series of infographics.

The characters embody the features of people who are living with rare lung diseases in that “they are strong, resilient and often go unnoticed.”

“This campaign is very much aligned with our purpose of making a positive impact in society,” Oscar Pérez, chief marketing, market access, and business development officer at Ferrer, said in a press release. “People who live with some of the forms of pulmonary hypertension often go unnoticed due to widespread lack of awareness of these pathologies.”

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“With projects like Phantasticals, our intention is to help spread the word about pulmonary hypertension and its subtypes, in addition to showing our unwavering commitment to people living with these diseases and their families,” Pérez added.

In the first phase of the campaign, three PHantasticals will help readers understand what PH is, and the difference between PH types.

While the mermaid PHoebe gives an overview of PH, PAHola describes pulmonary arterial hypertension, a rare form of PH. PHILipa explains the features of PH due to interstitial lung disease. The descriptions include an explanation of how rare these conditions are, their symptoms, how they are diagnosed, and what treatments exist.

All of them are intended to be easily understood by a general audience. While informing healthcare professionals about the disease is certainly necessary, “campaigns addressing the general population are also critical to improve the acceptance and understanding of this sometimes invisible disease,” Gergely Meszaros, project manager of PHA Europe, said.

To help achieve this goal, the campaign will also seek to tell stories of the people who inspired the PHantasticals characters — individuals living with PH around the world. The campaign website includes testimonials from these people about their experiences with the disease to raise public understanding.

For example, the site now features a video of Zdenca Bradac, who was diagnosed with PH as a child.

“Life with pulmonary hypertension is not easy, but giving up is not an option and you have to be brave and fight, day by day,” Bradac said.

“Maybe I’m a PHantastical because I’ve survived these last 40 years… this is magic I’m still here with you. And still fighting,” she added.

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To celebrate World PH Day, Ferrer is also encouraging people to take a picture with its Blue Lips — Cure PH filter, which is an international symbol for PH. For every picture uploaded to social media with the filter, Ferrer will donate one euro (about $1) to PHA Europe. Photos should be tagged with the hashtags #WeBelieveInPHantasticals, #WorldPHDay, and #TogetherStronger.

The PHantasticals campaign will continue to run throughout May, with a second phase to raise awareness of neurological disorders scheduled to launch in June.