Video for SKCC

I co-developed the concept, wrote the script and authored the promotional blog post below.


Picturing the Patient’s POV  

By Molly Messana  

When the team from the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center — Jefferson Health asked The DICE Group to make them a video, it was a big deal.  

As a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center, this institution supports visionary research and makes scientific breakthroughs happen. Its network spans 32 hospitals and practices throughout Greater Philadelphia. Oncology physicians and specialists from around the world provide best-in-class treatment and compassionate care for patients with all cancer types here. 

In one minute or less, we had to convey it all. It took months, but we gave our clients what they wanted: humanizing shots of their providers and staff cut with inviting shots of their clinics and labs, set to energizing music and an empowering voiceover. We hit all the marks.  

Except one: The story was all about us (the Cancer Center) and not about them (our target audience). Our creative director Viraj helped us see this blind spot. It was glaring.  

Back to the drawing board we went. Raul (our Lead Experience Designer), Austin (Video Producer), and I (Senior Copywriter) brainstormed away, building concepts and breaking them down.  

Recently we discussed how we came up with “The Moment.”  

Austin: We kept trying to put ourselves in the mindset of someone that’s been diagnosed with cancer and considering what they might be thinking or how they might be feeling in those moments, and then trying to find a way to also bring in the clinical aspects. 

Raul: We were talking about how powerful the moment in the [first] video is when she [the patient] looks up at the fountain and chooses to do something about it. 

Molly: The moment she felt hope again or empowered. 

Raul: It kept snowballing to that ‘moment’ concept and it was driven, like Austin said, by the three of us focusing really hard on the patient, the patient, the patient. 

Molly: We were talking about relay teams and a lot of cool concepts, but they were really produced, involving lots of people and complicated shots, and we just kept stripping it down to how one patient feels and to get that across in the most authentic language or dialogue. 

Austin: We also had to hit on Cancer Care 360 without forcing the brand into the viewer’s face. 

Raul: So then we started messing with this duality, sub-concept. It’s all about the patient’s moment and then showing a mirror image of the physician and the people of SKCC where it’s their moment, too. They’re getting prepped for surgery. They’re getting ready to meet the patient for the first time. It’s almost like two moments coming together into one greater moment. 

Austin: Just hinting at SKCC throughout the video rather than focusing on them.  

Raul: And it had to start low. Where you’re seeing someone right on the verge, that split-second right before you choose to try something positive. Where you find the hope, the drive, the will to take that next step forward.  

Molly: I don’t know if we realized it then, but that low point is such an important element in the most popular story types. You start high, go way low and then you’re climbing and climbing to get back to the top. We started our story at the low point, which is the most powerful part.  

Raul: Yeah, it’s human nature. All the stories that we react to. There’s something about climbing back up. There’s something about that turning point when the subject basically tells himself, ‘I shouldn’t be afraid. What am I worried about? They do this a hundred times a day.’  

You can see that something switched and they’re trying to dig themselves out. I just love that because once that happens, I feel connected and think, ‘OK, take me with you because you dragged me through the dirt and I want out too as a viewer.  

Molly: I hope the way we showed the patient go through that process helps communicate the strengths of SKCC and why you should go there. The experience of having cancer is personal and scary, but you can have hope and feel strong when you have people to lead you out of this. In the video, it’s the person psyching himself up and just trusting that he works with people who know what they’re doing. It’s less of an in-your-face way of saying ‘go here.’ We know you’re starting low but, trust us, we’ll lift you up.  

Check out “The Moment” here: 

Interested in making a video with The DICE Group? Contact [redacted].

Check out our YouTube channel at  

About Molly Messana  

Molly Messana is a Senior Copywriter, mother and live music lover with a terrible poker face. She likes dismantling complex healthcare information into helpful, patient-friendly bits. And Phish.  

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