Best practice from Good Relations in partnership with the National Osteoporosis Society.
“Osteoporosis? Old women get it, right? I don’t need to worry about it.” Wrong. But this public perception in the UK is heavily entrenched. In reality osteoporosis does primarily affect older people but it affects a huge amount of them.
One in two women and one in five men over 50 will break a bone as a result of osteoporosis, making it one of the UK’s most prevalent diseases. Osteoporosis causes immense suffering for hundreds of thousands of people and their families each year.
To reduce this risk people need to take action early – in their teens and twenties when they can still build strong healthy bones. By the age of 40 or 50 it is far too late.
The brief was simple - to raise awareness of Osteoporosis with consumers of all ages (not just older people) and increase understanding of the steps people could take to reduce the risk of Osteoporosis – principally better diet and more exercise.
As awareness and understanding were the desired outcomes - the key measure of success for the campaign was defined as the increase in calls to the National Osteoporosis Society’s hotline and requests for its literature and brochures.
We knew that in the highly competitive consumer health environment a bold and imaginative approach would be essential if we were to be successful in generating enough coverage to raise awareness of a condition such as osteoporosis.
Another insight that drove our thinking was the fact that our bones are out of sight and therefore generally out of mind, people cannot see their bones so they tend not to think about them. We had to think of a way of changing this.
Our solution was to tackle this issue head on with the Really Naked Celebrity Calendar, featuring x-ray photography of well know celebrities in memorable or relevant poses or positions. We borrowed unashamedly from the original WI naked calendar but went “really” naked, bringing the celebrities bones right to the surface, to get our audience to consider bone health in a fun and engaging way.
Once the calendar concept had been agreed an additional success measure was added – the sale of 1,000 copies of the calendar.
To add credibility and additional news angles we proposed that the National Osteoporosis Society commission leading x-ray artist Nick Veasey to produce the images and launch the calendar with an exhibition at a London gallery.
Now all we had to do was make it happen, all on a budget of just £60,000. With campaigns like this there are many twists and turns, setback and sudden breakthroughs.
Executional excellence is all about anticipating issues, handling those you just can’t anticipate and making it happen no matter what. Good Relations and the National Osteoporosis Society comms team worked side by side to deliver the programme.
Broadly we did it like this:
• Step One – secure Nick Veasey for a vastly discounted rate, work around his ‘creative personality’ and fit around his busy time schedule
• Step Two – beg, plead and charm well known celebrities that appeal to a wide range of age groups into participating in the project entirely for FREE. Work with the National Osteoporosis Society to approach their patrons and supporters and then exhaust all other possible contacts.
• Step Three – when some of the celebrities drop out start all over again and secure replacements against an even shorter deadline
• Step Four – work with a designer to produce a calendar which has strong creative but at the same time fits within the client’s visual identity guidelines
• Step Five – Source a trendy east London gallery and create a week long public exhibition. Launch the exhibition and the calendar via a private viewing/party of media and celebrities
• Step Six – Secure pre-launch exclusive with your top media target – in this case the Mail on Sunday
• Final Seven – run a hard working media relations programme to secure wide reaching national and regional coverage for both the exhibition and the calendar
• For added value - add a radio competition to promote the campaign and secure 44 BBC and Independent radio stations … for a vastly discounted rate
• And do it all – start to finish - within 4 months to ensure the calendar is on sale in the run up to Christmas
We secured 12 unique portraits of well known celebrities faces from television, sport and music including:
• Bruce Forsyth /Lorraine Kelly /Joanna Lumley /Michael Parkinson/James Martin/Craig Revel Horwood/Joan Rivers/Dame Tanni-Grey Thompson and Olympic gold medal winners, Steve Williams and Sarah Ayton
- Double page launch exclusive in the Mail on Sunday
- Widespread national and consumer media coverage including; The Sun, The Telegraph, The Metro, The Express and The Independent. The London Paper, OK Magazine, Saga Magazine and ITV 1’s Alan Titchmarsh Show.
- 15 pieces of regional coverage
- Around 100 pieces of online coverage
• The launch party was attended by over 80 celebrities, media and charity supporters
• Coverage with key campaign message reached an audience of over 26 million people
The campaign delivered against its key measure of success with the National Osteoporosis Society reported a threefold increase in requests for its leaflets and brochures on the previous year, a strong indicator that awareness and understanding has indeed increased.
Although not all of this can be directly attributed to the this specific campaign the charity estimated that the Really Naked Calendar had a significant affect.
Sales of the calendar hit the target of 1,000 set by the National Osteoporosis Society
The National Osteoporosis Society was given all of the original images by Nick Veasey. It plans to auction them, raising further awareness of Osteoporosis and creating the prospect of the campaign being entirely self funding.
The campaign attracted praise from a wide number of sources including participants and the media.
“I’ve seen all the coverage for the calendar, you managed to secure some great celebrities for it, I think it’s a brilliant idea and am pleased to be involved.”- James Martin, Celebrity Chef and calendar participant
“Oh my goodness they look absolutely brilliant! What an amazing calendar – loved it!” - Nickki Joceline, GMTV
“I’d really like the exclusive – it’s such a clever idea with some really big names.” - Carole Watson, Head of Features - Daily Mirror
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