From internet shopping to Bluetooth technology, we are a 24/7 society.  Everyone’s talking about how tired they are each day, but what people may not know is being alert and being awake are not the same.  And when you’re not alert due to a sleep disorder or medical condition, the impact can be seen at work, at home and on the drive in between.  Cephalon, Inc. charged Dorland Global PR to develop a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of alertness and encourage consumers to discuss alertness issues and concerns with their doctors.  The campaign, Alertness Matters, has reached an estimated 190 million consumers to date.   



A key challenge in the development of the campaign was to build a construct that would initially engage consumers about the issues surrounding impaired alertness and then motivate these consumers to take action.  The program was built in three research phases:

           Messaging/Context – Research indicated that consumers used the term “alertness” to describe how they would like to feel but could not based on numerous factors.  Consumers also identified three touch points where they recognized personal roadblocks to alertness: at work, at home, on the drive in between work and home. 

           Working Group – A working group with key stakeholders in the issue of alertness was selected to review the program construct and materials. The group validated learnings from consumer research and also provided input/suggestions to the campaign materials.  Working group members included representatives from a major airline carrier, hospital/health systems and emergency response (police, fire).

           Pilot Program – Two pilot markets, Atlanta and Chicago, were selected to assess the impact of individual campaign tactics and to help further refine the market model.  Results from the pilot markets exceeded expectations six fold, generating 70,000 unique visitors to the website and nearly 4,000 web registrants. 



Cephalon pursued a full 2006 program launch in eight markets; six of the markets were full scale activities while two markets focused solely on employer activities.  Markets were selected through a prioritization process that took into account MSA size, number of working adults, percentage of shift workers in population and feedback from Cephalon employees familiar with the markets.  While a core market model was designed for the events program, each market’s activities were customized to take advantage of specific promotional opportunities and partnerships.  Markets were also timed to maximize the attendance at each event. 


2006 markets included: Cincinnati, Charlotte, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Denver, Las Vegas, Buffalo (Employer only event) and Memphis (Employer only event)


Target Audience


         Consumers who have alertness roadblocks or are at risk for excessive sleepiness


         Physicians/Healthcare providers who can help consumers understand alertness roadblocks

         Employers with access to large groups of people who may be at risk

         Media who can help translate the messages and the urgency to a broader audience



Program objectives were to:

1. Raise awareness and acceptance of the need for alertness among target audience

2. Generate leads to potential consumers via website call-to-action



Empower consumers to understand and self identify impaired alertness by reaching out with events in regions with high volumes of at risk people

           Street team events (26-32 events per market) – Street teams of 10 were deployed to street locations highly trafficked by shift workers.  Teams distributed questionnaires and flyers and encouraged consumers to log onto the website. 

           Community events (5-7 per market) – Alertness Matters sponsored highly attended hometown events such as Major and Minor League Baseball, NFL games, and community health fairs.  Sponsorship activities included street teams, simulator (see below), score board and LED advertising, program ads, banners, PA announcements and media coverage/interviews.

           Employer Intercepts (100-150 per market) – Employer kits were hand-delivered to major employers, including police precincts, fire houses, top area hospitals and media outlets who employed at risk staff.  Kit included materials to host an in-house alertness day, complete with an introduction letter, brochures, educational presentation and quizzes.

           Employer In-service Events (4-7 per market) – Coordinated longer-form in-service events with top employers in each market; event included simulator (see below), education display, in-depth alertness presentation given by an alertness expert, Q&A session and premium distribution (see below).


Translate excessive sleepiness into a single term useful for dialogue between audiences

           Simulator – Created an interactive tool to help users understand the consequences of impaired alertness.  The simulator creates a five minute 3-D surround-sound experience in which the viewer experiences the impact of impaired alertness at home, at work and during the commute.  Simulator scenarios include a tired forklift operator, a business man falling asleep at a meeting, a mother cooking for children while preparing for a nursing night shift and a drowsy cab driver.

           Quiz – A quiz was designed to help consumers assess how alert they were and included a call-to-action to visit the campaign website and/or talk with their physician. The quiz also included a business reply card to allow consumers without internet access to receive additional information.

           Brochure – An Alertness Matters brochure was distributed at longer form events (employer in-service events, community events)

           Website – was developed as an informational resource for consumers to visit for more in-depth information on alertness, sleep disorders and treatment options.  Website also includes specific portals and content for employers and HCP audiences.


Spark buzz and consumer interest in the program, campaign messages and call-to-action

           Promotions/Advertising – In market promotion/advertisements were purchased to surround the consumer with information about the program call-to-action.  Promotions included bus shelters, transit cards, taxi-tops, convenience store posters, static billboards and/or traveling billboards.  Promotions were selected based on market specific commuter habits, traffic/volume and availability.  Traveling billboards were utilized in all markets and were routed around event locations and high traffic areas.  Many consumers mentioned seeing one or more promotional vehicles prior to attending an in-market event. 

           Media Relations – Extensive media relations outreach was conducted in each market; Dr. Mark Rosekind, an alertness expert from Alertness Solutions, Inc. and/or a local market alertness physician were offered in conjunction with the simulator for in-studio broadcast interviews (radio/TV); print reporters were invited to attend events.

           Premiums – Lanyards, flashlights, notepads, mouse pads and pens included Alertness Matters web address to help remind consumers to take action.  


Bridge the gap between audiences by bringing consumer events to physicians

           Meeting/Convention Attendance – Attended national meetings and conventions, including the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Emergency Medical Services, Pri-Med East, National Safety Council and Pri-Med Mid Atlantic where healthcare practitioners and alertness stakeholders (i.e. medical directors, safety coordinators) could preview the simulator and take educational materials for use with their patients.



           Over 190 million exposures for Alertness Matters

           470,168 unique visitors to website and 37,257 registrants (8%)

           Average time spent per visit on the website is 4 minutes, three times greater than the industry average

           All AM markets were among the top 25 cities driving web site traffic

           Secured national new media features with MSNBC; regional hits include KDKA-AM (Pittsburg); WDIV-TV and WJR-AM (Detroit); KDVR-TV and KMGH-TV (Denver); KVVU-TV (Las Vegas) – estimated reach 9 million

           Employer surveys revealed a 129% increase in awareness

           Over 1,000 events held