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Have you met Gary?

Meet Gary, Purple’s newest creation and the face of the Motor Neurone Disease Association’s campaign to enable faster diagnosis of motor neurone disease.

Nikki Plant

Author: Nikki Plant

Marketing Manager

Date posted: 28/05/2020

Have you met Gary?

Meet Gary – the face of the Motor Neurone Disease Association’s new campaign to enable faster diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

Purple Agency approached the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association in July last year to see how we could bring our skills to the great work the Association does in supporting and coordinating care for people with MND, their families and carers.

People with MND often see a number of health and social care professionals before being referred to a neurologist and subsequently being diagnosed with MND. For many patients, diagnosis can take more than a year.

So, where does Gary come into all this?

Most people know someone called Gary. Yet, with a 1 in 300 risk of developing MND, you’re more likely to meet someone with MND than a Gary. It is more common than you might think.

We saw an opportunity to help speed up the time to diagnosis by aiming a campaign at physiotherapists – to whom many MND patients are initially referred. We wanted to help them to recognise the symptoms of the disease so they would know who to refer to a neurologist. The campaign encourages physiotherapists to download a red flag tool with Gary offering helpful hints of what to look out for. Visitors to the dedicated campaign page can learn more about the indicators of MND, both in medical terms and in the words of people with MND.

Working with Fendix Media (the UK’s only NHS digital advertising network), we’re making sure that the campaign reaches the right audiences within NHS Trusts via the NHS intranet. It is hoped that the awareness Gary raises will speed up the referral process so that a diagnosis can be determined earlier, and the correct support can be given more quickly.

The Gary campaign launched in mid-January and early results are excellent. On day one, the advert received five times more clicks than average for the channel. Results will continue to be monitored to help shape the future of the campaign and to review the success of the campaign in achieving its goal of awareness amongst the healthcare community.

To meet Gary yourself, click here. For more information about MND, please visit the MND Association website –