COI's stroke campaign works FAST

Challenge - The Strokes campaign for the COI was designed to raise awareness of strokes. The task of the planner is usually to identify a target audience and work out how to speak to them. However, in this instance, Mediaedge:cia needed to identify those at risk from strokes and then discover who each person's relevant "stroke-saver" could be.

Strokes: high-profile campaign
Strokes: high-profile campaign

COI, Department of Health
Pete Kemp

The campaign focused on the need to dramatise the effects of strokes on the brain, as well as the value of intervention. The planners devised the acronym FAST to represent the signs of stroke: face, arms, speech and time to call 999. TouchPoints data identified who the at-risk audience was, where they lived, who they were with and which media their potential stroke-saver was consuming during the day.

The agency knew potential stroke-savers watch a lot of TV, so it launched a high-profile ad campaign on ITV, C4 and satellite. A press campaign ran in the national press, women's weeklies and TV listings magazines, while radio activity ran at drive-time in the morning and evening on national stations. This was supported on mainstream portals and by homepage takeovers on popular sites including Amazon, eBay and Facebook. The agency met a secondary brief to reach stakeholders by using the Life Channel - a TV station in doctors' surgeries. Hard-to-reach audiences were given a second chance to be exposed to the campaign via a community outreach programme in 10 locations.

There was a significant uplift in average call volumes to 999 in the week follow-ing the launch. There was also a huge uplift in spontaneous awareness, rising from 15% to 82%, with the campaign reaching 90% of people. TNS research reported the campaign was the "most motivating" COI campaign to date, with more than half of the respondents remembering the FAST acronym. The percentage of respondents who reported the campaign created a "sense of urgency" was high, at 77%.

Pete Kemp, Strategy director, Mediaedge:cia

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