In the US, women age 40+ make up half of the female population, and by 2025 there will be more than 85 million women of menopausal age. Research shows that 80% of women will experience hot flash symptoms due to menopause, yet hardly anyone is talking about hot flashes—until now.
Historically, the term menopause has been the catch all for this “shameful or scary” stage in a woman’s life, rather than an important and natural stage. Women were made to feel like the symptoms were all in their head.
It was critical that our campaign brought hot flashes and night sweats into the spotlight and gave a name to these symptoms, so that women would feel validated and empowered to talk about them. It’s VMS—the medical name for sudden, unpredictable hot flashes and night sweats that can often be severe. To address VMS, it must first be understood that it’s a condition that originates in the hypothalamus, the temperature control center in the brain.
Women don’t want sugar coating or weird euphemisms—they want cold hard facts and solutions that work for their VMS. We created a disease education campaign to do just that—break the stigma of this traditionally taboo topic—using a relatable spokeswoman to create a conversation that is vibrant, cheeky, and honest.
We established 3 overarching goals for the educational campaign:
1.) Educate the market about the condition: VMS
2.) Shift mind sets, perceptions, and the menopause paradigm
3.) Influence, amplify, and disrupt the conversation
This campaign started with extensive research into women over 45 across demographics—racial, socio-economic, geographical, marital, etc., so we could understand where they turn to for research tips, tricks, and treatments for their VMS. We paid particular attention to how they utilize social media and communities (digital and IRL) so we could ultimately craft a community space that would be relevant for them.
We created a surround sound ecosystem with TV spots, banner ads, radio/audio spots, emails, paid search, and a website all focused on educating about VMS—and ultimately creating a community of likeminded women.
We featured a highly relatable spokeswoman who engaged with women in a humorous way to make them comfortable and confident in having a productive conversation with their HCPs about VMS.
Once we decided on building our community via a Facebook Page—"All About VMS”—we crafted content across our three campaign goals using a specific social persona, influenced by our spokeswoman, to speak to our community. The real groundbreaking decision we fought for was igniting a two-way communication via comments and messenger so that the community could engage with each other and us.
On the Facebook page, the two-way conversation (typically not seen in the pharmaceutical space), was a risk that paid off—48% of the conversation on the page centered around women sharing personal experiences, creating the exact community we were striving for!
At the time of submission, the Facebook page had garnered
Beyond the numbers, scroll the page and you’ll see thousands of comments of women praising the page for its no BS take on VMS. Women were craving this community that brought them to the forefront of the conversation—where they should have been all along.
This community would not have been possible without the surround sound ecosystem that was strategically created to educate and engage women with our different channels:
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