Save Our Sons and the Duchenne Foundation have launched the world’s first petition signing bionic arm in an effort to raise awareness for young sufferers of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). The robot arm was invented to do what many young DMD sufferers can’t – write. The arm takes its commands from the website, TheMostPowerfulArm.com, where visitors can sign the petition by leaving their Facebook details on the petition database. This data is then shared with the arm, which tells the paper roller to feed the paper, and signs the name to the petition. When it’s done, a camera takes a picture and posts it to their Facebook wall.
DMD affects 1 in 3,500 children (99% male), and sees a progressive deterioration of muscle resulting in loss of movement, leading to total immobilisation. Save Our Sons, has already raised $1.75m, half the money needed towards funding clinical trials, which if successful could put an end to DMD. The petition will be directed towards the Australian government who currently has no policy on research into DMD, asking them to match the amount raised to bring trials to Australia.
Emad Tahtouh, Director of Creative Technology at Finch said, “We wanted to help Save Our Sons, so we came up with this idea to build a robotic arm that can sign the petition on behalf of every Australian who supports the cause – even children with DMD, who through their condition have lost the ability to write, can sign it. The arm is capable of 8500 signatures a day – we’re aiming for 300,000 in total.”
The face of the campaign is Jacob Lancaster, 19, who was diagnosed with DMD when he was 5. Lancaster says, “Life with DMD has been a struggle. It’s hard to look forward and hard to look back. I am hoping the Most Powerful Arm Ever Invented will help stop this condition for others in my position”.
The Bionic Arm campaign was developed at Havas Worldwide Australia by executive creative director Steve Coll, art director Nicole Hetherington, copywriter Simon Fowler, and account director Marissa Davies.
The website was designed and built by digital agency Reactive by creative director Tim Buesing, senior project manager Hiedi Clague, art director Gabriel Tamborini, senior developer Sudeep Shakaya, front end developer Luke Andersen, and chief search engineer Chris Thomas (Reseo).
Post production was done at Cutting Edge.
Sound was designed at Sound Reservoir.
PR was handled at Havas Red Agency by associate director Rachel White and account manager Jennifer McDermott.