Imaginary Friend Society: RPA’s mammoth animation project “taking the scare out of cancer care”
- Jenny Brewer
- 6 October 2017
Californian ad agency RPA has released a mammoth, 20-film animation campaign for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation to support children with cancer. The beautiful series of films made in collaboration with leading studios including Strange Beast, Trunk, Titmouse, MPC, The Mill, Lobo and Giant Ant, tackle everything from dealing with diagnosis to complicated terminology.
“A cancer diagnosis is a scary and confusing experience for anyone, especially children. Each year, 4,600 children and teenagers are diagnosed with a primary brain or central nervous system tumor,” says the agency. “And yet, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF), the world’s largest nonprofit solely dedicated to the pediatric brain tumor community, started seeing their donations and visibility wane. In response, the PBTF wanted a fresh approach to help revive their cause.”
According to research the agency conducted, many kids who survived cancer relied on an imaginary friend as a coping mechanism, which it has used as the basis for these films. Congregated as the Imaginary Friend Society on a dedicated website, the 20 animations feature a wealth of charming, humorous and dynamic characters designed to educate and support the kids through their treatment. Short films such as Feeling Sad, Blood Tranfusions, Radiation, Losing Your Hair, Being Scared and Returning to School tackle tough subjects in myriad animation styles. Other animation studios involved were Gentleman Scholar, Roof Studio, Hornet, Airplan, Not to Scale, Flux Animation, Starbeast, Psyop, Studio Pigeon, Renegade Animations and Laundry.
Watch some of the films below or browse all 20 on the Imaginary Friend Society site.
About the Author
After five years as It’s Nice That’s news editor, Jenny became online editor in June 2021, overseeing the website’s daily editorial output.
Jenny is currently on maternity leave.