PRWeek Healthcare & Pharma Comms Awards winners: Best use of Social Media and/or Influencers in a Healthcare/Pharma Campaign

The winner in this category is Maybe It's Not Thrush for Balance Activ by Brands2Life.

This campaign for Balance Activ gel aimed to help women spot the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis (BV), which is often mistaken for thrush, and to treat themselves effectively.

Take me back to the Healthcare & Pharma Comms Awards winners page

Research found women wanted honest communications that spoke to them on their terms. This insight led Brands2Life to develop a 'no-nonsense' comms campaign that complimented the brand’s new ‘natural’ positioning.

The agency developed a targeted plan for Facebook and Instagram, building specific audience profiles to target women more likely to experience BV, such as those going through pregnancy or interested in dating and relationships. It communicated the eye-catching static - that BV is twice as common as thrush - alongside video social assets, with a call to action to check symptoms on the brand’s online tool.

For earned media, top gynaecologist Dr Shazia Malik was hired to advise and add credibility to the campaign. Malik’s advice was brought to life via a ‘Maybe It’s Not Thrush?’ handbook, which was sent to targeted journalists along with samples in specially designed campaign boxes.

Meanwhile, paid media partnerships with Balance, Healthista and Huffington Post included a mixture of infographic video, advertorial and banner ads.

There were 24 pieces of coverage, 88 per cent of which directed readers to the brand website and symptom checker - traffic to the new site rose 30 per cent in the campaign period. The symptom checker was used 31,000 times over the three-month period – more than twice the average rate.

Despite rival brand Canesbalance being on TV during the campaign period, sales of Balance Activ grew eleven per cent, and the brand was restored to its number one market share position.

Judge's comment: 

" This is a strong entry on an important topic, executed with strategy and insights. It's great to see clear objectives, including some measurable KPIs, and how the team used research and testing, alongside social media and influencers, to develop a hard-hitting campaign with remarkable results."

Highly commended: 

#SortYourselfOut by APCO Worldwide for BD

Chlamydia test producer BD asked APCO to increase awareness of testing on social media among 16 to 24 year-olds and increase the number of tests ordered in the pilot area. The team created a social media content calendar for Instagram and Twitter to coincide with the end of Love Island in August and Sexual Health Awareness Month in September – adapting common Love Island phrases to the topic of sexual health to maximise engagement. APCO worked with Dr Alex George, an NHS doctor with over 1.3m followers on Instagram, to develop Instagram clips talking about the importance of getting tested. APCO also contacted Hull University’s student union, which shared the content from its social platforms. The social media campaign resulted in over 775k impressions and 25k video views. In August, 582 tests were requested – up from 244 in June. It also a significant increase in people requesting advice on Instagram via private messages.


Hand Washing Challenge by Freuds Health & Behaviour Change for NHS England

It's more than height, it's health! Empowering parents to measure their child's growth by Edelman for Novo Nordisk 

NHS Workforce by Freuds for NHS England

Soothing Mind & Skin Campaign by Brands2Life

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