CAMPAIGNS: Cause-Related Marketing - A brighter picture of mental health

Client: Janssen-Cilag Limited and Organon Laboratories

Client: Janssen-Cilag Limited and Organon Laboratories

PR Team: Greenlines Healthcare Communications

Campaign: Understanding Schizophrenia art competition and exhibition

Timescale: April 1997 -February 1998

Cost: pounds 15,000

Since 1993, pharmaceutical companies Janssen-Cilag and Organon

Laboratories have jointly marketed Risperidone, an anti-psychotic drug

used to treat schizophrenia.

Legal restrictions on the promotion of prescription drugs have meant

that the two companies’ promotional activities have so far been confined

to targeting mental health professionals.

But in 1997, to bring some benefit to the drug’s end users, the two

pharmaceutical companies decided on an educational campaign,

Understanding Schizophrenia, which aimed to break down the stigma of the

illness among the general public.


To encourage more informed comment about schizophrenia and highlight the

successes of people with the illness. To achieve this, the companies

wanted to build links with a range of charities and make a positive,

demonstrable commitment to people with schizophrenia.


Research among major mental health units and charities showed a strong

link between art therapy and mental illness. So, an art competition

seemed the most appropriate activity and was also a UK first.

In May and June last year, a colour leaflet about the competition was

distributed to 78 charities, support groups and mental health units

throughout the country. In addition, Janssen-Cilag and Organon

Laboratories’ sales representatives distributed information to

psychiatrists and mental health units on their rounds.

Artists were asked to create images that illustrated their experiences

of schizophrenia. The winners would receive pounds 100 for themselves

and pounds 100 for a charity of their choice.

By the August deadline, the competition received over 100


In September a panel of experts, including Dr Sarah Wilson of the

Courtauld Institute of Arts and Jeremy Lewison, acting keeper of the

Modern Collection at the Tate Gallery, judged the entries.

The panel chose 19 images for an exhibition at Gallery 47 in central

London. Called Imagination Unchained, the show ran from 9 to 21 February

this year and gained an additional pounds 6,500 sponsorship from MSF

World Communications.


An opening reception at the gallery attracted over 40 guests and more

than 400 people visited the exhibition itself.

In terms of media coverage, Time Out highlighted the exhibition as ’pick

of the week’ and the Independent recommended it as ’make sure you


In addition, the Times featured an interview with one of the artists

about her work.

To demonstrate their commitment to art therapy, Janssen-Cilag and

Organon Laboratories used images from the competition for an innovative

1998 calendar.

Over 5,000 of these were sent to key prescribers, other health

professionals and 70 affiliated companies around the world.


People who attended the exhibition were clearly very impressed as

comments in the visitors’ book ran to over 20 pages.

The event also opened doors for many of the artists involved, some of

whom received commissions or gained the confidence to approach a local

gallery with portfolios of work.

Gerry Thompson, sales and marketing manager at Janssen-Cilag says: ’It

(the campaign) did much to raise awareness of the issues surrounding

schizophrenia, but also allowed contact with an important group of

opinion leaders.’

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