Janssen Brasil: Listen to Our Voices

Schizophrenia is a mental illness affecting millions in Brazil. Those afflicted often suffer in isolation because they are so socially stigmatized – dividing families, biasing employers, discouraging treatment and leading to a 10x higher rate of suicide. Janssen Brasil set out to confront the prejudice and lead a national conversation to end the silence.

Schizophrenics are often mocked for “hearing voices,” but Ketchum and Janssen Brasil decided it was time to listen to their voices. So, we gave voice to Brazilian musician Alysson Mariano, who wrote a song about what it’s like to live with schizophrenia. A chorus of influencers – from a rock star to doctors and impacted family members – joined in, creating a moving musical anthem against prejudice.

Our message of empathy hit a high note. “Ouçam Nossas Vozes,” or “Listen to our Voices,” aired widely across Brazil, igniting media attention and the first major national conversation around schizophrenia. The campaign generated 127 million earned media impressions, including 457 organic news stories in outlets such as Agência Brasil, TV Globo and CNN Brasil. Social media engagements topped 170,000. Finally, people dealing with the mental illness felt heard and understood. The campaign galvanized patients, families, caregivers, support groups and the medical community – promising hope to millions and driving unprecedented inquiries to Janssen Brasil for treatment information.