Superheroes Fight Disease

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It would be an understatement to say that superheroes are very popular right now. At least seven superhero movies are confirmed for 2017, including the Lego Batman movie. The popularity of superheroes is also evident in the yearly attendance increases at Comic-Cons and other similar conventions. And now superheroes are being engaged to fight disease.

The Japanese government just enlisted Sailor Moon to help fight Syphilis so now her fight against evil will include sexually transmitted diseases.

Last summer, Takada partnered with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) and Marvel Custom Solutions to create IBD Unmasked, a disease awareness campaign and comics featuring superheroes with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The comics were designed (with input from a panel of IBD patients from around the globe) to highlight both the daily battles and the strength of the global IBD community.

MM&M awarded the Best Philanthropic Campaign of 2016 for the Hero Gene. This superhero-themed campaign included a booth at Comic Con NY which helped to register over 500 committed donors to the National Bone Marrow Registry.

Philips Everyday Hero campaign, aimed at healthcare professionals, incorporates a superhero theme to communicate how Philips sees healthcare differently. 

Superheroes have special powers such as super strength, special fighting abilities, high pain tolerance and great courage. Superhero stories provide models of coping with adversity, discovering strengths and using them for good purpose.

Apply superhero qualities to combating disease and you have a strong metaphor that can be can be very powerful and effective.

Stan Lee says it best, “The problem with telling superhero stories is that it naturally follows that you need a supervillain.”

And diseases are the ultimate supervillain.

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