Pegasus will promote the launch of new product Audeo. It will also work on the domestic aspects of the company’s international Hear the World campaign, which is aimed at raising awareness about the risk of hearing impairment.
Phonak has previously used Weber Shandwick in the UK.
It is thought that no other agency was pitching against Pegasus, which has previously worked for rival manufacturer Siemens Hearing Instruments. The agency is currently retained by hearing aid distributor David Ormerod Hearing Centres, which has outlets in Boots stores and NHS hospitals.
Hear the World uses photographs by singer Bryan Adams of celebrities such as Joss Stone and Moby to draw attention to the importance of hearing and the social and emotional consequences of hearing loss. Opera singer Placido Domingo is being used as an ‘ambassador’ for the initiative.
The Pegasus account director is Chris Webb, who reports to Phonak marketing specialist Karen Redfern. ‘Using celebrities normalises the subject,’ said Webb. ‘The campaign is aimed at de-stigmatising hearing impairment. In time we would like people to see wearing a hearing aid in the same way as they see wearing glasses.’
The campaign will describe hearing loss as an inevitable part of the ageing process rather than something to be ashamed of. About 40 per cent of people over the age of 50 suffer from the condition.
The new Audeo will not be marketed as a ‘hearing aid,’ although that is its primary function, but will be positioned as a ‘personal communication assistant’.
Pegasus is expected to emphasise its discreet appearance, fitting behind the user’s ear, connected by an ‘invisible’ wire and having the trendy look of an electronic accessory. ‘There is still a wide perception that hearing aids are cumbersome, bulky devices for people with a disability,’ said Webb.
Pegasus associate director Simon Hackett oversees the account.