#PainNoFilter was an Instagram campaign by Headland for Versus Arthritis, launched in order to shed light on the painful reality of living with arthritis. The aims were threefold: to dismantle the myth that arthritis was merely an ‘old-person’s disease’, to raise awareness of the condition and to construct an online support community, allowing those who need help to access it quickly.
These efforts fed into a wider goal: to stimulate a shift in the public’s perception of arthritis from ‘just a bit of pain’ to having a debilitating impact on people’s lives and thus bring worthy of public attention and support.
Pain is unique, hard to visualise and rarely present in our day to day lives. To tackle this, Headland strove to give those with musculoskeletal conditions the confidence to share their stories on Instagram – the platform most associated with curated perfection. For World Arthritis day, we asked arthritis influencers, organisations and celebrities to dedicate a post to their own individual experience of pain. All we asked was that they used the #PainNoFilter and tagged Versus Arthritis. The result was a flood of user-generated content, which wholly encapsulated the diversity of experiences.
Alongside social, Headland also implemented concurrent media and stakeholder engagement – pitching interviews to national titles and hijacking the general election by asking candidates to pledge their support on social.
The campaign culminated in extensive national news coverage, a vast increase in traffic and followers, over 100 election candidates pledging their support, and over 1000 public posts with #PainNoFilter.