WEBER SHANDWICK, Toronto / ASTRAZENECA / 2017
The idea was sparked from a play on words—“genes” as in genetics and “jeans” as in denim. Know Your Genes became our call-to-action, an entry point to a serious conversation, providing a creative media hook to take the story beyond traditional health media.
To secure crossover appeal, we proposed a partnership with renowned Canadian fashion designer, David Dixon. Inspired by his late sister, Dixon created a unique ‘Gene Collection’, incorporating jean fabric into his trademark high-fashion designs to highlight the little-known, but important role of genes in ovarian cancer.
Launched at Toronto Fashion Week, the ‘Gene Collection’ helped the Know Your Genes message to penetrate beyond traditional health media outlets, and reach women in the media they consume regularly.
We tapped medical experts and more than 20 women with a personal connection to ovarian cancer eager to share their stories and deepen the emotional power behind the initiative.
The Know Your Genes initiative and the ‘Gene Collection’ launched with a special runway show at Toronto Fashion Week. Select media were contacted in advance of the event for interviews, and invited to attend the unveiling.
To kick off the show, we produced a video to draw the audience into the conversation about ovarian cancer and genetics. As a show-stopping finale, 18 women touched by ovarian cancer walked the runway with David Dixon to a standing ovation from the crowd.
We distributed a news release and worked with select media in key markets, including consumer health, lifestyle media, fashion and entertainment. We brought Canadian healthcare professionals and OCC members into these articles through interviews and secured coverage of patients living with the disease.
An educational video was also developed for patients and their families, incorporating footage and interviews from the event, facts about ovarian cancer and the role genes play.
• 91 pieces of coverage across Canada, generating 35,989,904 media impressions—a 260% increase from the original objective—including nine interviews with top-tier media such as CP24, ET Canada, eTalk, CTV News Channel, Canadian Living, Fashion Magazine, Global News Calgary, Breakfast Television Vancouver and The Canadian Press.
• 95 per cent of stories containing spokesperson quote and 97 containing key messages
• Total of 1,100 attendees at the Know Your Genes launch
• Night of launch at Toronto Fashion Week, David Dixon trended nationally on Twitter, with conversation generating a combined Twitter reach (of #GenesTFW, ‘Know Your Genes’ and ‘David Dixon’) of more than 2,100,000 impressions
Target Audience Outcomes
• More than 20 women shared their ovarian cancer stories and walked the runway with David Dixon
• Engaged key healthcare professionals who can educate and provide credible information (included four gynecologists and one genetic counsellor)
• Increased the gene conversation online (achieved 316 Canadian social media mentions), appearing in both the health and lifestyle sections
• David Dixon awarded Fashion Impact Award, which recognizes a Canadian designer or brand that has made a significant social or philanthropic impact, for his Gene Collection and efforts in raising awareness on the role genetics play in ovarian cancer