INITION uses creative technology to help ‘Make Blood Cancer Visible’

INITION was proud to be involved in a ground-breaking campaign to raise awareness of blood cancer, an often invisible condition whose symptoms are easy to miss. Commissioned by Blue Latitude Health who both conceived and project managed all aspects of the installation, INITION used their creativity to develop technology that has never been used in this way before. We pulled together a suite of different components which helped bring the physical statues to life and give impact to the stories told by those affected by the many different forms of blood cancer.

Make Blood Cancer Visible (MBCV) was a nation-wide campaign which aimed to inform, educate and increase awareness of blood cancer. The MBCV campaign ran throughout September 2018, with installations in the centre of London, Cardiff, Manchester and Edinburgh covering 601 miles, and received support from double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes as the official ambassador, whose own mother died of myeloma.

Based on the premise of attract, interact and act, the main feature consisted of 10 life-sized transparent, motion-activated human figures which represented the ‘unseen’ or invisible nature of blood cancer.

Designed to attract people to the area, the statues had proximity sensors which pick up a person’s movement and react to their presence with audio feedback from one of 10 speakers telling the real stories of sufferers of blood cancer. Each statue contained 60 LEDs which were programmed to react to the movement of the person standing in front of it.

This encouraged further interaction as the user learned that their actions were triggering responses from the statues and therefore attracted more onlookers in the busy town centres. The figures told real-life stories from people who had been diagnosed with blood cancer, in their own voices, encouraging passers-by listen to their experiences and to show their support for the campaign, by pressing a big red button.

One of the major challenges to be overcome was to devise a way to power the statues by battery because they were being placed in busy city centre locations, whilst enabling them to run continuously for 6 days, supporting 100,000+ total interactions. They also had to be easily portable, so they could be moved to a different city every week.

George Stuart, INITION Project Manager said: “We’re proud to help create a captivating interactive attraction. The individuality and uniqueness of this experience shows the impact that creative use of technology can have to reach individuals in ordinary settings to convey an important message”

In total, over 13,000 people pledged support via the red button. A massive 34.7million people were reached across social media channels and there was blanket UK wide media coverage across regional and national TV and press.  We believe the installation has gone some way in making the unseen, seen and raising awareness about blood cancer, the 3rd biggest cancer killer.