Glaxosmithkline (GSK) Promo, Case study Fight Cervical Cancer in Style by Weber Shandwick London

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Fight Cervical Cancer in Style

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Industry Public Safety, Health & Hygiene, Against Cancer
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United Kingdom
Agency Weber Shandwick London
Associate Creative Director Alex Reider
Released June 2010


Cannes Lions 2010
PR Lions - Silver

Credits & Description

Type of entry: Sectors & Services
Category: Healthcare and Services
Group Managing Director: Lucie Harper (Weber Shandwick)
Managing Director: Molly Hooper-Aldridge (SLAM PR)
Head of Digital Communications: Robert Anderson (Weber Shandwick)
Associate Director: Alex Reid (Weber Shandwick)
Associate Director: Helena Bloomer (SLAM PR)
Account Manager: Holly Hill (Weber Shandwick)
Account Manager: Dee Graves (SLAM PR)
Account Executive: Emma Spencer-Smith (Weber Shandwick)
Account Executive: Becky Bayles (SLAM PR)
Describe the campaign/entry:
‘For years, I have hoped a charity could teach girls about cervical cancer in a way that would make them listen…this campaign has made the difference’, said one patient about why Fight Cervical Cancer in Style is exceptional.
Nearly three women die of cervical cancer every day in the UK: it is the most common cancer in women aged 20-29. It’s caused by a common virus, HPV, and is one of the few cancers for which there are preventative measures. GlaxoSmithKline partnered with UK cervical cancer charity Jo’s Trust to educate girls and women about the disease and ways to reduce risk through a healthy lifestyle, screening and vaccination.
GSK’s PR agency pushed health education boundaries, creating a website for pledges of support, commissioning a designer campaign scarf, recruiting ambassadors, bringing doctors and nurses on board, and planning an event attended by the Prime Minister’s wife Sarah Brown and filmed by Channel 4.
The campaign, a first for the pharmaceutical industry, garnered influential backing, reached thousands of young women and inspired them to take action. There have been over 91,000 visitors to the website, 25,800 pledges of support and almost 100% understanding of key messages among girls at the event.
Describe the brief from the client:
The objective:
• Educate girls aged 12-18 and women aged 18+ about cervical cancer, enabling them to make informed decisions about how to reduce their risk.
Extensive market research included quantitative surveys of 12-18 year old girls on health, cervical cancer and vaccination, as well as quantitative focus groups to explore attitudes, behaviour and barriers around cervical cancer and preventative measures. This activity revealed widespread ignorance of the disease, its causes and prevention.
An independent national benchmarking survey by Millward Brown post-campaign would measure its success in educating girls and women.
Millward Brown’s national benchmarking survey (sample: 1,300) showed 73% of girls aged 12-18 who had seen the campaign said they were likely to be vaccinated and 43% recalled that a healthy lifestyle, cervical screening and vaccination are the best ways to reduce their risk. Compared to girls who hadn’t seen the campaign, twice as many were aware that cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women 20-29.
A survey of event attendees found 98% remembered that HPV causes almost all cases of cervical cancer and 99% intended to tell friends and family what they had learnt.
There were 204 pieces of media coverage - almost double the target - with 82% including the URL and call to action.
• Website video views: 250,000
• Print and broadcast audience reach: 31 million
• Unique website visitors: 91,200
• Leaflets sent to family doctors: 52,500
• Online pledges of support: 25,800
The campaign launch was pushed back to December 2009 as swine flu dominated the news.
• was created as a central information point.
• Advertorials offered readers a chance to win an exclusive campaign scarf, designed by PPQ.
• The Sugababes became the faces of the campaign.
• A campaign event during European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week. 700 tickets allocated within 36 hours via the website.
• Performances by La Roux, Pixie Lott, and Paloma Faith, plus fashion shows, patient case study videos and media medic Dr. Pixie McKenna.
• Sarah Brown introduced the event, which was filmed by Channel 4 for a T4 special and aired early February.
• Press releases supported every key milestone.
Healthcare professionals were reached via trade advertorials and a direct mailing. Media medics were invited to an advisory board. Third-party organisations also offered support, distributing news to members via their own communications channels.
The Situation:
GlaxoSmithKline’s human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine protects against the two types of HPV that are responsible for 70% of cervical cancers. It was chosen by the UK Government for its national cervical cancer immunisation programme, which aims to vaccinate all girls aged 12-18 by mid-2010. GSK, the world’s leading pharmaceutical company, is committed to raising awareness of cervical cancer so women and girls can better understand their risk and how to reduce it. The company tasked its PR agency with delivering educational messages in an innovative way so girls and women can make informed decisions and are motivated to take action.
The Strategy:
The campaign needed to be optimistic, credible and respectful, using creative tactics that were relevant, appropriate and resonated with the audience. The team created a brand and logo for Fight Cervical Cancer in Style. The platforms of music, fashion, celebrities and patient testimonials were used to engage girls and women through a blend of traditional media and digital activities, culminating in a high-impact, high-profile event.
Key messages included:
• Nearly three women die of cervical cancer every day.
• Almost all cases are caused by a common virus.
• You could catch the virus as soon as you start having intimate relationships.
• The virus usually clears naturally but sometimes it persists and could lead to cervical cancer.
• A healthy lifestyle, cervical screening and vaccination are the best ways to reduce your risk of cervical cancer.
• For more information speak to your local doctor/nurse or visit