Heart Institute goes mobile for 2012 Fashion Week

WASHINGTON: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) will integrate mobile marketing into the 10th anniversary edition of "The Heart Truth" campaign.

WASHINGTON: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) will integrate mobile marketing into the 10th anniversary edition of “The Heart Truth” campaign. The effort is scheduled for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York next February.

The group, and its partner the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), are “really looking at taking full advantage of mobile technology” to reach more women in 2012, said Sally McDonough, director of communications of the NHLBI.

She added that the Heart Institute has launched a free mobile body mass index calculator app to help people track their total body fat and lower their risk of obesity-related diseases.

The Heart Institute has showcased its “Red Dress Collection” for the last decade at Fashion Week to raise awareness among women about the prevalence and risks of heart disease.

“Incorporating a company, like Verizon or AT&T, to the event in the future would be ideal,” said Rich Scarfo, director of strategic alliances at the FNIH. “Our goal with NHLBI is to definitely showcase the cause, and we bring in different sponsors that help us extend the message in ways that are unique to their company.”

Ogilvy PR Worldwide, which retained a multimillion-dollar, five-year contract with the Heart Institute in August, will handle traditional PR and media outreach efforts for The Heart Truth and the 2012 Red Dress Collection.

Last year, the Heart Institute included various social media elements into its Fashion Week outreach, including live video feeds, blogger updates, and Twitter parties, said McDonough. The group plans to expand all of them for the upcoming 2012 edition.

“While awareness has nearly doubled in the last decade, 42% of women still have no idea they're at risk for heart disease, so we still have a long way to go,”  McDonough explained. “In the social media world and in social marketing, we have to continually tell that message and constantly remind the consumer because she's busy and she has a lot of competing messages for her.”

The NHLBI will try to connect with women between the ages of 40 and 60 through digital technology, and it will also leverage its relationships with corporate, community, and founding partners to reach its target demographics.

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