Covidien inspires people to take two minutes to save lives

The Take 2...Tell 2 message stresses that taking two minutes to learn about strokes and then passing information on to two people can save lives.

Blood pressure screenings were provided to people at events in the US, Brazil, Ireland, and South Korea.
Blood pressure screenings were provided to people at events in the US, Brazil, Ireland, and South Korea.

Client: Covidien (Dublin, Ireland)
Agency: APCO Worldwide (Washington, DC)
Campaign: Take 2…Tell 2 for Stroke
Duration: September-October 29, 2014
Budget: $1.2 million

The simple, powerful call to action – Take 2…Tell 2 – weaved throughout a highly integrated campaign helped Covidien significantly increase knowledge about stroke prevention and treatment among consumers and employees worldwide. 

"World Stroke Day was on October 29 and we wanted to lend our vascular expertise to elevate awareness," says Covidien’s SVP of corporate communications Jacqueline Strayer.

"Creating signature events in conjunction with partners allowed us to reinforce our commitment to stroke awareness and get our employees involved. The campaign also provided an opportunity to advance Covidien’s position as a leader in stroke prevention and treatment." 

The Take 2…Tell 2 message stresses that taking two minutes to learn about strokes and then passing information on to two people can save lives.

"The key goal was to inspire action – everything else emanated from that," explains Tina-Marie Adams, MD of APCO Worldwide.

"Message simplicity was also critical because we had to translate it into multiple languages," adds Strayer.

Results of research around stroke awareness conducted by APCO were used on the campaign’s website, in press releases, and in social media outreach.

The team partnered with the World Stroke Organization and local market NGOs on events held on World Stroke Day.

Public events were hosted in New York City, Dublin, São Paulo, and Seoul, South Korea. At all events, healthcare professionals provided blood pressure screenings, insight into results, and demonstrations on how to help a stroke victim. Nutritionists, celebrities, local government officials, and other stroke awareness advocates were also on hand.

Public event attendees received educational materials and were encouraged to use on-site photo and video booths to upload personal stroke stories to The website also houses aggregated social content tagged with #Take2ForStroke, research summaries, and information about stroke signs, prevention, and treatment.

APCO created a two-minute video shown to employees and posted to Covidien’s YouTube channel, Twitter page, and

"We gave coordinators in our offices a playbook, but they designed their own, culturally relevant employee events," adds Strayer. "Some hosted staff-led panel discussions, others held runs or invited speakers."   

Events were held at more than 60 locations worldwide on World Stroke Day. A traveling van provided free blood pressure screenings and information throughout Ireland on October 29. The agency targeted healthcare, general consumer, and lifestyle media outlets and blogs as well as healthcare trades.

A post-event survey revealed seven of 10 Covidien employees passed stroke information on to two people. Awareness among staffers of stroke as a health risk increased from 69% to 86%, and the number of employees who were aware that women are more likely than men to experience a stroke tripled. 

More than 43,000 informational materials were distributed at events and 8,000 blood pressure screenings were provided. People with dangerously high blood pressure were identified, and one was sent to the hospital. More than 1,100 hashtagged consumer-generated videos and photographs were captured in about one week.

The website garnered more than 5,800 visits in the week leading up to October 29. The YouTube video received about 4,000 views. More than 100 earned placements ran in outlets including, Today, Globo, SiriusXM, and the Irish Daily Star.  

Given Medtronic’s recent acquisition of Covidien, it’s unclear if the campaign will continue next year.

PRWeek’s View: This was a great example of how a simple, clear call to action, backed up by rich, multichannel assets can move the needle, even in a short timeframe. Partnering with the World Stroke Organization and providing direct access to healthcare pros helped with reach and engagement. Prompting audiences to tell stroke stories was a nice way to reinforce the "Tell 2" aspect of the effort. Kudos to Covidien for allowing staff to tailor events. Increases in employee awareness were also impressive. 

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