Thinking inside the box

Thinking inside the giant box of paracetamol

From the steady stream of runny noses, sniffles, sneezes and, let’s be honest, strings of sticky snot, it’s pretty obvious winter’s well on the way. And for those of us working in NHS communications it’s the annual challenge of coming up with new ideas to help people help themselves.

It’s a time of year when GP surgeries have standing room only and hospital beds are permanently warm as one patient is discharged just in time for the arrival of the next one. So if there’s any way of stopping folk    getting ill in the first place, or treating their minor illnesses at home, well, we’ll all be happy.

But each year there has to be new and different ways of saying what is effectively the same message and it’s getting harder to come up with new ideas. Thank goodness for thinking outside the box with a bunch of creatives. Unfortunately for one of those creatives,it meant actually getting inside the box.

The idea was simple, give the man and woman on the street a good idea of what they need to get them healthily through the winter, and do it with a bit of imagination. Enter the giant box of paracetamol and a huge prescription for a family medicine kit. Unfortunately for a couple of my colleagues, they were the ones   who had to get in the box, the boxes they’d put together with gaffer tape and sticky-back plastic. Still, we’d had a lot of fun doing it.

The giants boxes hit the streets of Northampton, Corby and Milton Keynes, handing out a winter checklist suggesting everything from antiseptic to thermometer to help treat common ailments. Let’s hope they work!

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