Cannes Creative Showcase: Racial bias within the healthcare industry

4 months ago

Brand: Merck for Mothers

Agency: Matter Unlimited New York

Background

With the help of Serena Williams, the NYTimes and legislation raised by Sen. Kamala Harris and Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, the topic of racial bias within the healthcare industry has become a fixture of the US daily news cycle. The maternal mortality rate in the US has risen since 1990 and is the highest of any high-income country in the world. For black women, the odds are stacked even higher as they are 3-4 times more likely to die of childbirth-related causes than white women are.

To build awareness of the issue we created the heartbreaking short film, “Reverse”, based on true stories the agency heard from real women and advocates who have experienced deaths and near-deaths as a result of childbirth.

Execution

“Reverse” is a short narrative film, shot in reverse chronological order, about the relationship between a mother and her child from birth up until the tragic outcome of the daughter’s labor. Through various vignettes the story of Venesha, our protagonist, is shown growing up in a loving household, excelling in school and her career, and finding a life partner, but having difficulty navigating a fractured and racially biased healthcare system during her pregnancy.

AWARD: Bronze Lion

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