It's November 1st, which the JDRF is now proclaiming as "T1Day". We're asked, as a community of people living with diabetes, to "raise awareness about type 1 diabetes on this day and throughout the month of November".
It also seems to mark a turning point in how JDRF is engaging the adult type 1 audience, as you'll surmise from the cheeky (and perhaps, to some, over the edge) videos they've put out recently.
As someone who is an adult (and I use that term loosely) with type 1, I do appreciate JDRF's efforts to engage the adult population - adults make up around 85% of the type 1 population, after all. It's a fairly large shift to now see adults with type 1 in their advertising and promotion.
I also appreciate their attempts to educate the public about the different types of diabetes.
This new strategy is unorthodox and frankly, a little bit shocking - how many disease advocacy groups can you think of who have asked you to "give the finger" to the cause?
I'm not sure this message hits the nail on the head, but you can certainly make an argument for its effectiveness in grabbing people's attention. It feels a lot like breast cancer marketing's use of "I Heart Boobies", in that it may not send the most PC message, but it certainly breaks through the clutter (to throw some marketing slang into this thang).
(Sidenote: The appropriateness and motive behind the IHB campaign is enough fodder for an entirely different post, but seeing as this is Diabetes Awareness Month, I'm trying to stay on topic.)
What's your take on T1Day, and JDRF's "Meg" campaign? Will you be giving diabetes "the finger"?
Disclosure: JDRF asked if they could send me a press kit a few days ahead of T1Day, which included some advance information about T1Day and other changes happening at JDRF. They also sent me one of the foam fingers from the video, but I'm not quite sure I want to go there. :)
Other thing you should know: JDRF is holding a press conference tomorrow. According to the email I got: "Members of Congress, diabetes clinicians and people with type 1 diabetes will hold a press conference on Wednesday, November 2nd at 2:30pm on Capitol Hill to urge the FDA to issue clear and reasonable guidance on the artificial pancreas and make an exciting announcement about the artificial pancreas petition. We’ll be live tweeting from the press conference - login to our Twitter accounts to follow the hashtag #AP100k."