Making a Case for Medical Research Funding


A video tells a powerful story to policymakers

The Alliance to Protect Medical Innovation (APMI) engaged NJI to produce a video that would educate policymakers about the importance of funding biolabs and research for new therapies. APMI’s primary focus was funding related to sickle cell disease (SCD)

The work posed two challenges. One issue we had to address is that SCD is an invisible disease, so the experiences of those who struggle with it may not be readily apparent. In addition, effective execution of APMI’s message required an educational component. We needed to make certain the target audience understood not only SCD, but also why it was critical to support related research.


Authentic, Engaging, Persuasive

Our team determined that a documentary-style video, featuring a mother whose son had SCD, was the most powerful way to express APMI’s message and elicit the desired response. In addition to Mattie and her son, we also interviewed a researcher and the head of Global Blood Therapeutics, which specializes in SCD medicine development. Our goal was to humanize the work of the researchers and the people who benefit from it.

In pre-production, one of our goals was to structure our interviews so that the resulting footage told a cohesive, compelling story. This was especially important given that our two sets of subjects were so different: one represented a family narrative and the other represented medical research, funding and policy. Without a strong connective thread, we knew the video could feel disjointed and less than effective.

We also had to manage logistical challenges related to the shoot. A West Coast location precluded us from extensive location scouting, and our subjects’ schedules further compressed our timeline. Our strategy and video production teams developed proactive plans to address these obstacles and ensure we could capture solid interviews and illustrative B-roll.



The resulting video tells a moving story of a mother seeking to give her son the best care possible, together with the medical researchers who are committed to making that possible.

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