Print and Publishing > Culture & Context

THE NEXT CHAPTER

WEBER SHANDWICK, Geneva / FEMOSTON / 2023

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Overview

Credits

Overview

Background:

125 million Indian women experience menopause each year. But low symptom recognition, social stigma, and fear mean over half won’t speak to their doctors about it. When they do, just 1% of India’s doctors offer Menopausal Hormone Treatment (MHT) and, even in debilitating cases, will typically only prescribe a three-month course, despite symptoms usually lasting 7-14 years.

With MHT in its portfolio, Abbott wanted to debunk widely held misconceptions about menopause and raise symptom awareness among women, families, and HCPs.

30 local interviews and a survey of 1,226 Indian women, daughters and husbands revealed deeper challenges: even when physical symptoms were known, menopause’s real-world impacts – on everyday life and mental well-being – were poorly recognized.

Ultimately, we had to break India’s menopause taboo – a tall order, not least because we needed to replicate the campaign subsequently in three very different countries (Brazil, China, and Mexico).

Please provide any cultural context that would help the jury understand any cultural, national or regional nuances applicable to this work e.g. local legislation, cultural norms, a national holiday or religious festival that may have a particular meaning.

Cultural nuances presented two challenges:

1. The need to scale to four countries

India, China, Brazil, and Mexico are highly distinct linguistically (complicating an information campaign), attitudinally (e.g., different attitudes to Western medicine) and culturally (e.g., in India, stigma around both menopause and MHT is high, but Femoston is well known. In Brazil, the opposite is true.) Ultimately, we recognised that our common denominator was silence: Women in all four countries experienced menopause but were just not talking about it.

2. Indian women’s health rights

In India, widespread poverty and gender inequality greatly limit women’s access to healthcare and health information, especially provincially. A historically patriarchal culture complicates matters further–as seen in HCPs’ low appetite for treating menopause, or in overall squeamishness about the topic socially. We needed to cut through that institutional permafrost and reach women directly, with voices they could instinctively trust – those of other Indian women.

Describe the Impact:

The New Chapter’s launch (19 October 2022, marking World Menopause Day), led by Bollywood’s Lara Dutta, was attended by 30 top-tier journalists, 195 influencers and prominent KOLs. A paid campaign drove people to the digital hub.

The result was astonishing, sparking a boom in menopause conversations across India:

• 90mn+ impressions (Facebook/YouTube)

• 930mn earned media impressions

• 70,000+ book downloads

• 310,000 page views (digital hub)

• #MenopauseStories scored 18.8mn+ uses, trending #1 on Twitter for three hours!

Abbott’s campaigning had similar impact:

• Facebook engagement 6.5% (vs.1.9% average)

• LinkedIn: +320,000+ impressions

But the commercial results around Abbott’s MHT, “Femoston,” resonated deepest: Its market share among Indian MHT brands surged from 4.8% (May 2022; campaign pre-seeding) to 36.6% (February 2023). Industry analysts IQVIA now rank Femoston #1 among Indian MHTs – up from #4 a year ago.

Please tell us about the cultural insight that inspired the work.

‘The vast majority of menopausal Indian women will never have had a single conversation about menopause in their entire lives.’

That’s the insight that led to this entire project.

We had to find a way to help women start conversations without necessarily having to say a word.

First, by inviting women to privately and anonymously send in their stories, we gave hundreds permission to talk about their issues for the first time, and to do so in complete safety.

Then, by taking these stories and sharing them via a downloadable book, we allowed our original women to start conversations with thousands upon thousands of others.

Finally, by encouraging our readers to talk about the stories, to add their own and to pass the book on, we finally brought the conversation to life in the real world, with women talking to women in person and online.

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