How our PR agency spread awareness of HPV and cervical cancer in the Philippines
HPV barely registers in the Filipino health consciousness despite the fact that it's one of the most widespread STDs and the most common cause of cervical cancer.
STDs have never been a polite topic in the Catholic-dominated country. Public and women's health advocates have been struggling to reverse this lack of awareness for a long time.
MSD's Gardasil is an FDA- and BFAD-approved vaccine for HPV and it suffers from the lack of recognition of the disease it's designed to prevent. And those that do recognize HPV often only know about the competing vaccine brand, a more pricey option.
M2.0 was tasked with helping MSD spread awareness of the disease and Gardasil.
While it's possible to bombard doctors and the public with informational ads and other collaterals, such a brute force method would be expensive and wouldn't resonate with its target demographics. Instead of going head-to-head, M2.0 recommended that it's better to catch public interest by crafting eye-catching stories.
M2.0 began carefully seeding the media with different types of stories at appropriate times. They were all designed to grab attention, answer rising questions, and keep public interest piqued.
The campaign was divided into phases to concentrate attention on particular stories. One alerted the public on the dangers and prevalence focused of cervical cancer. Another phase centered on famous personalities that support the cause. A further story focused on the sexual aspect.
The various stories were picked up by major newspapers and TV stations who now found HPV relevant and threatening to the public.
They brought the disease front and center to countless Filipinos.
Plenty took the warnings seriously and started asking their doctors more frequently about HPV and the possibility of vaccination