HEALTHCARE CAMPAIGN: Cosmetic surgery firm targets the Alpha male

Established 25 years ago, The Harley Medical Group has 20 clinics across the UK providing surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures. In April, the group approached its retained agency of five years, Rain Communications, to promote its treatments for men.

Campaign: The Sarkozy Effect - the rise in men having cosmetic surgery
Client: The Harley Medical Group
PR Team: Rain Communications
Timescale: April 2008
Budget: Part of retainer fee

To grow market share among 40- to 50-year old males. To reinforce The Harley Medical Group's position as the UK's leading cosmetic surgery provider.

Noting an increase in Botox procedures among men aged 40 to 50, the PR team spoke to some of the clinics' doctors to identify the drivers behind this boom. This revealed that many male patients in this age bracket had younger partners.

Rain timed its story to coincide French President, Nicolas Sarkozy's state visit to the UK.

Dubbing the growing trend for cosmetic treatments among middle-aged men as the 'Sarkozy effect' enabled the PR team to hook into the explosive media interest surrounding the French premier and his younger second wife, former model Carla Bruni.

Careful to avoid suggestions that the president had undergone any nips or tucks, Rain coined the idiom FAMS - Forty to Fifty year old Alpha Males, to describe powerful men who turn to surgical procedures to roll back the years.

The group's doctors and a case study were also fully briefed on the story and made available for interview.

Coverage was achieved across national, regional, broadcast and online media, including the Daily Mail, The Telegraph and City AM.

Five ran a news bulletin including a studio interview with one of the doctors and a pre-recording of the case study undergoing Botox treatment at the Harley Street clinic. The bulletin was aired at 12.30pm and repeated on the 5pm and 7pm news bulletins, with The Harley Medical Group name checked four times.

The group received an influx of enquiries to its call centre. Hits to The Harley Medical Group's website also rose.

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