TED is a nonprofit platform whose mission is to spread life-changing ideas, in the form of well rehearsed, accessible and hyper concise speaking events and conferences.

Weaving highly complex medical subject matter into striking and captivating content can be a challenge. But what if the topic is serious and somewhat dark? And how can we inspire young viewers to pay attention to the danger of prediabetes when their focus is short-term?


TED’s Custom Content Creation team, led by Alexis Reiner, invited Noisy Neighbor to conceptualize, write, produce, and deliver a stylish visual story that serves to help young viewers pay attention to the danger of prediabetes. Working within TED brand guidelines, we had to design an experience that also worked within the context of their partner Merck’s prediabetes awareness push.


Prediabetes and diabetes are life-threatening issues, but for most young people, type 2 diabetes won’t manifest itself until 30 years down the line. They need to take action NOW, so how can we keep their attention while they are saturated with a plethora of pressing messages?

The message and presentation needed to be unexpected, playful, accessible, and serious—yet not alarming—while being meticulously researched and sourced, and remaining mindful of existing TED and Merck identities.

Services Img


Our solution was to introduce the subject with a digestible short film that explains prediabetes and why it is a looming health threat, making it accessible to young people with animation and design.

We proposed using whimsical homespun graphic design, a soft and approachable color palette, an introspective score, and young and reassuring narration.

We crafted a script which was familiar, casual, and friendly. Our aim from the beginning was to steer the creative away from familiar health awareness films, which tend to be dry and slow.

Services Img


We kicked off our conversation with TED’s creative team by creating a mood board which reflected a wide range of recent design styles. Through a series of collaborative meetings, we explored elements that might work well for our project, and crossed a few ideas off the list.

Once we had our styles narrowed down, we created two distinct directions for the client, based on the visual framework that we had established together.

Services Img


We couldn’t have dreamt of more talented TED and Merck leadership team to work with.

With the design and production plans in place, we quickly got to work on animation, voiceover auditions, and scoring. Working quickly, we had a full rough cut and a short list of voiceover actors within a week. Another week brought final revisions, score, and voiceover recording sessions.

Services Img

The final film was a home run for both TED and Merck, who were able to position themselves as leading cultural figures among millennials.

Get in touch