EMA Wins National Healthcare Marketing Award

BUFFALO, N.Y. Painkillers Kill—the campaign Eric Mower + Associates created with BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York—won the Gold award last night at the inaugural Healthcare Marketing IMPACT Awards.

Presented by Advertising Age and its sibling publication Modern Healthcare, the awards recognize healthcare’s best advertising, marketing, promotion and communication campaigns nationally across all media platforms. Winners were announced at a ceremony on Sept. 23 in Chicago.

Taking Gold in the Community Outreach Campaign of the Year category, Painkillers Kill is a community-wide, multi-media awareness campaign to address the nationwide epidemic of prescription painkiller addiction and abuse, particularly among young adults. Finalists in the category included campaigns created by Digitas Health LifeBrands, Anderson DDB, BPN, Laughlin Constable, and Media Logic.

Painkillers Kill was launched in response to a report in 2011 that the Buffalo-Niagara region had a higher-than-average statewide number of prescriptions written for the three top synthetic opiates used to kill pain—a report that made overdose deaths and suicides linked to these drugs more apparent. With impetus from parents who lost their young adult children to this horror, EMA partnered with BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and media partner WNED-Western New York Public Broadcasting to launch the campaign, which drove consumers to the website www.painkillerskill.org.

EMA designed and managed the campaign’s social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter; and designed haunting television, radio, billboard and online creative that dealt with death from painkiller addiction. The campaign, which garnered more than $3 million of earned media with more 50 million regional impressions, has been so successful that it is being shared with the 37 other BlueCross BlueShield plans, which insure one in three Americans. The campaign also incorporated 54 community partners, including colleges, media and advertising outlets. It also resulted in WNED producing a middle-school curriculum to educate students and parents before they reach the primary ages of addiction.

The Healthcare Marketing IMPACT Awards recognize and honor campaigns that advance provider, insurer, supplier and advocacy group efforts to deliver high quality, affordable and accessible healthcare; promote the health of individual patients, groups and communities; and help organizations thrive and grow in today’s rapidly changing healthcare environment.

“This campaign is truly making a difference for an under-the-radar issue,” said EMA Executive Creative Director Tom Merrick. “We are proud to be a winner and part of our client’s crusade against the prescription painkiller addiction and abuse epidemic.”

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