The Breathe Easy Early campaign was a tremendous undertaking to recruit participants for a medical study conducted by the University of Arizona. The nature of the study - testing the efficacy of a medication on infant participants - made it particularly challenging. However, the impact of the study — potentially helping to prevent or reduce the severity of asthma in children — was worth the challenge. We worked with U of A to design and develop all of the marketing materials and strategies for the recruitment process. The three-year recruitment process was designed to gather qualified participants for 11 different study locations.
Our services included:
We started by giving the campaign a name that was simpler than the official name of the study: An ORBEX (Oral Bacterial Extract) Study of Asthma & Wheezing. Breathe Easy Early was selected for simplicity. It conveys the purpose of the study and can be shorted into an easy acronym: BEE.
The identity and branding were created with the audience in mind, namely, infants and young children and their parents. It is inviting and cheerful, while still conveying the importance of the study and ensuring the professional nature of a healthcare study. We chose a panda as the main icon because they are a symbol of gentleness, strength, good luck, calm determination and a positive outlook on life.
Working with the Independent Review Board (IRB) at each participating location, we developed messaging that would encourage parents to enroll their child. Because of the nature of the study, we had to ensure the language was descriptive, but didn’t make commitments like ‘Your child will be cured of asthma.’ The diversity of locations and target audiences required the messaging to also be available in Spanish. The messaging and website content are available in English and Spanish.
As the central source of information related to the study, the website covers the purpose of the study, eligibility requirements, participant responsibilities, information for study partners and contact information to join the study. It features a mobile-friendly design, bilingual content and supplementary study information.
Because of the reliance on parent commitment to adhering to the study parameters, we wanted to provide collateral to parents that would keep the study in mind and also be useful. We designed a diaper bag, stuffed panda, BPA-free baby rattle and informational brochure, branded to match the study, to be given to participating parents.
Print materials were given to healthcare providers in the study cities to share with their patients if they fit the eligibility criteria. We developed a master template that could be edited to switch out the various locations and hospital affiliates.
We initially proposed a multi-media campaign with digital and print placement. Within two months we reallocated all funds to focus on Facebook digital ads for more efficient use of spend and to better reach the target audience: young (primarily millennial) parents. We utilized Facebook lead forms to gather information from potential participants without taking them away from Facebook.
The ads targeted young parents who were in geographic proximity to the study locations. The ad copy and landing page copy included qualifying language such as ‘parent or older sibling has asthma or eczema’. The ad design featured infants and young children to convey the focus of the study on children, rather than adults. The targeting, design and copy were used to sift out unqualified leads so that only parents of children who met the initial qualifications would contact the study organizers.
The ad sets evolved from illustrations to images. Stock imagery did not offer the personal connection between parent and child that we were looking for so we coordinated a custom photoshoot to obtain images of parents holding their infant or toddler using devices commonly used for breathing treatments. The target demographics differed by location, so we used a number of models varying in race, gender and age to obtain appropriate images that would resonate with the intended audience. Target audience response also indicated that the inclusion of logos from the affiliated organizations, such as Boston Children’s Hospital, added a level of authenticity that parents trusted.
When we switched out the ad set to feature the custom photography, lead generation increased 105%. Information from the leads, including name and contact information, was sent to the appropriate study location organizer. From there, the organizers were responsible for contacting and further qualifying the leads. There were various additional questions and steps the study organizers used to qualify or reject potential participants. Our campaign generated 2,200 qualified leads for nine locations across the country.