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Monday, June 04, 2012

This week we’re taking a look at a great campaign I learned about from Gary Stringer. Gary is an executive at Accuracast – an agency based in England. I was so impressed by the agency’s campaign for national health checks, I had to reach out to Gary and ask him all about it.

The campaign encouraged residents in the local area to visit their local centre for a free health check. The NHS in Telford and Wrekin took to a local shopping centre for a flash mob performance. During this they lip-synched along to Maroon 5's 'Moves like Jagger' and created a lip dub video, which was then uploaded to their YouTube profile. This is an interesting and novel approach to promote healthcare from an organization like the NHS, using a viral video and sharing via social media has rarely been tried by such organizations. 

1. Hi Gary, tell us about your current role at Accuracast?
I am currently working as a digital marketing executive at Accuracast with a broad number of responsibilities under this title, although principally I undertake link building exercises for clients. This involves a number of tasks designed to increase the number of backlinks to clients websites and in addition to this I also produce copy on behalf of clients. I am also involved in implementing social media campaigns, such as the campaign for NHS Telford and Wrekin which is discussed below.

2. Tell us about your strategy for promoting Telford Health Check.
Essentially the strategy for the flash mob performance was to generate further awareness of the free health check service provided by the NHS Telford and Wrekin, which was evident in each aspect of the approach for the campaign. The flash mob began with the recruitment of individuals for the performance, with local organizations, students and dance schools becoming involved, which helped improve awareness on a local level. Conducting the performance at local, and often busy, shopping center also led to greater awareness due to the resulting coverage from the local press. Once this had been achieved the campaign moved online, with the performance uploaded to a specific YouTube and were are currently in the process of promoting this via social media.

3. Where did the idea for a flash mob come from? What were your goals?

Quite often people are afraid to visit their doctor for a health check as they are worried about the results, therefore it was important to communicate the messages of the campaign in a light hearted and humorous manner. The results from the health check will either provide patients with a clean bill of health or allow any problems to detected and treated early. The purpose of the flash mob performance was principally to increase the awareness of the health check service, but also to reduce the fear associated with it and therefore increase the likelihood of people using the service.

4. Did you achieve your marketing goals with the program?

As the campaign is yet to finish it is difficult to determine whether the goals have been achieved, although awareness of the free health check service has improved since the beginning of the lip dub campaign. Similar campaigns that we have conducted in the past have led to an increase in the number of people using services of this manner and therefore it is expected that the number of people using the free health check service will increase.

5. What advice do you have for others who may want to use this form of promotion?

The best piece of advice for others planning to use flash mob performances is to ensure that your message is clearly conveyed and make certain that the performance is relevant. In order to deliver the messages of the campaign effectively, each participant in the performance wore a t-shirt emblazoned with the “when you get the call GO!” slogan. As the campaign was conducted for the NHS Telford and Wrekin, staging the performance in a busy Telford shopping center ensured relevance and highly targeted communication with the desired audience. Finally you should also make the content as engaging as possible and ensure that it is easy to share online, in order to increase awareness.

Gary - thanks for sharing your success with us!


Mike|Online Marketing said...

Thanks for the valuable post. The flash mob idea, particularly applied to good health, seems like a valuable strategy. I hope to learn more about it.

MicroSourcing said...

Flash mobs are great for publicity and guerrilla marketing. They require good attention to detail and coordination to be successful, so careful planning is a must.

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