The World’s Most Uncomfortable Bed


Brand Awareness

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic, painful and debilitating disease, that in some cases causes a person to itch up to 1,000+ times per day. This pervasive and relentless urge to scratch impacts all aspects of daily life, most significantly, a person’s ability to sleep.

Pharmaceutical company Sanofi Genzyme (Sanofi) wanted to increase awareness of AD and the burden of the disease to ultimately raise awareness about DUPIXENT, a newly approved biologic treatment that can help manage the symptoms associated with AD, leading to an improved quality of life.

While we couldn’t mention the drug name given Canada’s highly restrictive regulatory guidelines, we needed to reach those living with AD in a bold and disruptive way.


Generally speaking, it is impossible to know what’s it’s like to have AD unless you have the condition. We created the next best thing – an experience that would create a real-world simulation of what someone living with AD lives through, day in and day out. We built The World’s Most Uncomfortable Bed based on the real-life experience of Canadians living with AD, and their accounts of what a night for them feels like. The multi-sensory sleep experience included pillows and linens created out of very uncomfortable material (burlap), a specially constructed mattress complete with heat controls and bumps and divots, and finally, a device that interrupted REM sleep with intermittent hot flashes.


We created and executed a “multi-touchpoint strategy” to reach our audiences through shareable, multimedia content across several platforms (housed on an existing website, as well as Facebook and YouTube), in addition to an earned media campaign. Having multiple touchpoints, allowed for more opportunities to increase the conversation around AD, while positioning Sanofi as a leader with a new treatment option in the Canadian AD market. We also worked closely with patient advocacy groups to ensure relevancy for our target audiences.


We placed our bed in a specially designed room at the Gladstone Hotel, one of Toronto’s top boutique hotels. Everything about the room was meant to encourage itching, from the framed photographs on the wall showing close-ups of individuals with rashes to the custom-made sisal lampshades. Then, for an entire month, we invited those closest to Atopic Dermatitis sufferers as well as a select group of influencers to spend a night. Each individual’s entire experience was documented with night vision cameras, enabling us to share the results with the general public.


Results from our qualitative and quantitative post-campaign survey revealed that awareness of available treatments increased by 132%. The World’s Most Uncomfortable Bed campaign drove and fostered empathy and an understanding of AD amongst the general public as well as increased conversation. It resulted in further engagement from the patient community and a commitment to continue to build awareness and to educate.


earned media impressions

and 20 pieces of coverage


digital impressions


Increase to Web Traffic