Case study: Celeb factor boosts pharma campaign

Sanofi Pasteur used the pulling power of TV presenters Ben Fogle and Dr Christian Jessen to help propel a travel health campaign onto the mainstream news agenda and boost visits to its Smarter Traveller website.

(L-R) Dr Christian Jessen and Ben Fogle fronted a travel health campaign for Sanofi Pasteur
(L-R) Dr Christian Jessen and Ben Fogle fronted a travel health campaign for Sanofi Pasteur

The campaign, which was launched in June and ended last month, was devised by The Red Consultancy.

The aim was to encourage British holidaymakers to seek travel health advice before going abroad.

The campaign focused on key messages such as the growth in overseas travel contrasted with research showing that fewer than one in 20 travellers always get a travel health-risk assessment before going abroad.

Another point made during the campaign was how going on animal-based excursions and exploring nature can put people at increased risk of travel-related diseases.

High-profile endorsement

Fogle was chosen as one of the celebrity ambassadors to front the campaign due to his profile as an experienced traveller, while Jessen, a high-profile TV doctor, ticked the medical expert box.


A survey commissioned by the pharma firm for the campaign, looking at travel-health attitudes and behaviours among British holidaymakers, provided a news hook for media.

And Fogle’s experience of having contracted leishmaniasis – a disease caused by parasites and spread by sandflies – while abroad, was seized on by some media outlets covering the campaign.


Interviews with the celebrities were placed with media outlets to achieve widespread coverage.


And campaign content, including a short film featuring Fogle and Jessen talking to holidaymakers at an airport, was promoted across Twitter and YouTube, using #smartertraveller.

Indicators of impact

The campaign achieved stunning results, driving a 65-fold increase in traffic to the Smarter Traveller website within two weeks of launch.

Some 144 pieces of editorial campaign coverage were generated, with an OTS of 25 million.

The core message of getting a travel health risk assessment was included in 100 per cent of the coverage, with the web address featuring in 90 per cent of pieces about the campaign.

Rebekah Lee, account director at The Red Consultancy, told PRWeek: "Critical to the success of this campaign was the strategy to use lifestyle insights coupled with campaign ambassadors who were able to bring the research to life by relating it to their own experiences, enabling us to reach audiences via social and media coverage, delivering health messaging both on and off the health pages."





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