Women over 40 have a potentially deadly misperception, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). The 92% who believe breast cancer and other diseases are the top threats to their health are wrong. Heart disease, it turns out, kills a quarter of a million women each year – making it the #1 threat. Looking to compel post-menopausal women to get their cholesterol checked and managed, Pfizer – who markets a cholesterol-lowering drug – charged Ketchum with telling women that high cholesterol can lead to very serious heart disease.
The centerpiece of their campaign was a “double screening:” first, a cholesterol screening to identify women at risk; followed by a screening of Steel Magnolias, voted most “heart wrenching” movie. Thus, TOUCHING HEARTS, a collaborative effort between the National Women’s Health Resource Center (NWHRC) and Pfizer, got to the heart of heart disease and cholesterol by touching women’s hearts.  With widespread public appeal and a personal high cholesterol story to tell, Olympia Dukakis got the message of cholesterol management out through the screenings, a public service announcement, media interviews and a brochure. More than 143 million Americans have heard the TOUCHING HEARTS message. 
Secondary Research: The AHA and the American College of Cardiology issued a statement in ‘99 calling for action to reduce women’s risk of coronary heart disease through aggressive preventive treatment. Cholesterol-lowering drugs were recommended as “therapy of choice” to lower high cholesterol in postmenopausal women. Pfizer leveraged these recommendations as part of the campaign’s call-to-action. 
Partnership Development:  Ketchum researched women’s health organizations and selected the NWHRC, a national women’s health clearinghouse, as the right partner. For NWHRC, the partnership facilitated outreach to a crucial audience about a health topic high on their agenda.  For Pfizer, NWHRC offered an established network to expand their reach to women and lent credibility to Pfizer’s message that high cholesterol poses a heart risk to women. The alliance also boosted the non-profit’s visibility through exposure in the PSA, press materials and at screening events.
Telephone Survey:  Once the team decided on a “double screening” event, research was needed to identify a film that would resonate with women over 40.  Ketchum Research conducted a telephone omnibus survey of 600 women over 40 to identify the most “heart wrenching” movie of all time.  In a closed-ended survey, Steel Magnolias was picked most frequently.
Market Research:  To reach the right demographic during the national tour, the team researched US cities with a high incidence of risk factors for heart disease (including high cholesterol).  From that list, Ketchum identified markets that were heavily populated with women over 40 (according to a US Census Database) and cross-referenced those cities with the top ADI media markets to establish the tour schedule.

  • Education: Increase understanding among women over 40 (especially post-menopausal) that high cholesterol is a leading risk factor for heart disease—the #1 threat to women’s health
  • Action:  Mobilize women over 40 to visit their doctors for a cholesterol screening and cholesterol-management plan to reduce their risk
  • Partner with a respected women’s health group to sensitize women to an overlooked health threat
  • Devise a public service program with multiple channels to touch women over 40
  • Deliver health information in an inspired way
  • Engage a celebrity spokesperson to enhance program newsworthiness and deliver key messages
  • Recruit physician spokespeople to deliver branded messages
  • Heart disease is a women’s issue – it’s the leading killer of women over 40, particularly after menopause
  • High cholesterol is a leading risk factor for heart disease – a silent risk factor
  • Women should work with their doctors to create a cholesterol-lowering plan that includes a “heart-healthy” diet and regular exercise to reduce their heart disease risk.  If necessary, statin medications are available to help women reach their cholesterol goals.
Audience:     Women over 40, post-menopausal
Budget:         $820,000 (fee) + $1.6 million (oop) = $2,420,000 (total)

Secured Partnership
Ketchum identified and partnered with the NWHRC, a source that women look to for health information
Worked with the NWHRC to develop cholesterol-specific content for their website, and a cholesterol brochure distributed via  NWHRC’s consumer liaison council
Designed the Event
Secured rights to Steel Magnolias and worked with Well Check (cholesterol screening company) to create “double screening” events
Developed celebrity and physician message points and talking points for NWHRC representative
Ketchum’s Media Training Center worked with Olympia Dukakis and Dr. Francine Welty, Assistant Director of Cardiology at Harvard Medical School whose clinical work focuses on prevention and treatment of heart disease in women.  The pair effectively delivered the campaign’s three key messages.
Collaborated with NWHRC to develop evaluation form to gauge event success and refine campaign content
Researched and selected event venues that had an intimate “dinner theater” ambiance coupled with a downtown location easily accessed by the public and media
Launched Campaign
Researched/secured the Equitable Center in Manhattan to host a launch event featuring a free “heart-healthy” reception; entertaining trivia complete with giveaways to restaurants, movie theaters and beauty salons; cholesterol screenings/counseling; brochures; a physician seminar/Q&A; and a screening of Steel Magnolias
Ketchum’s National Media Group targeted print, broadcast and online outlets that reach women over 40
Produced/distributed a national television and radio PSA featuring Olympia Dukakis in the backstage setting of NYC’s Minetta Theater.  The PSA was successfully picked up more than 9,000 times in over 240 markets with 40% of airings during optimal times (7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.).
Conducted a 3-hour TV/radio satellite media tour with Olympia Dukakis and national physician spokesperson, Francine Welty, MD, including 6 live local interviews, 3 live national radio interviews and 4 taped television interviews.  The spokespeople also conducted a national media tour in New York where they communicated that heart disease is a women’s disease, high cholesterol is a risk factor and for more free information call the 1-800 number.
Toured Locally
Created flyers to drive local event attendance and distributed through Pfizer sales force at local physician offices and through the mailing lists of the NWHRC’s coalition council.  Event flyers were also distributed throughout each community at gyms, churches, department stores, bookstores and grocery stores.
Paired Olympia Dukakis with local physician and conducted local market print and broadcast media interviews to generate event attendance and further spread campaign messages
Localized radio PSA and supplemented with ¼ -page local advertisement in the cities’ largest newspapers
Hosted the intimate “dinner theater” events for women over 40 in 11 markets across the country.  The events mirrored the national launch by featuring a “heart-healthy” reception, trivia games with giveaways, cholesterol screenings/counseling, the physician presentation and Q&A session and a free screening of Steel Magnolias.

Objective #1:  Education:  Increase understanding among women over 40 (especially post-menopausal) that high cholesterol is a leading risk factor for heart disease—the #1 threat to women’s health
Results: In the 11 markets where we touched women’s hearts, 84% of TOUCHING HEARTS event attendees came away with an understanding that cholesterol is a leading risk factor for heart disease (based on a survey questionnaire) and 88% understood that heart disease does not just affect men
A message analysis of campaign publicity (over 143 million impressions) revealed that the program’s three key messages were delivered in the media coverage
Heart disease is a women’s issue—it’s the leading killer of women (83%)
High cholesterol is a leading risk factor for heart disease (66%)
A variety of medications is available to help women reach their cholesterol goals, one of which is statins (44%)
Note: 98% of the coverage referenced Olympia Dukakis, confirming Ketchum’s confidence in her media appeal
The TOUCHING HEARTS Campaign PSA reached over 127 million people on more than 9,000 stations in 240 markets with 40% of airings during optimal times (7:00 am – 11:00 pm)
Over 2,500 TOUCHING HEARTS brochures were distributed directly to the program’s target audience through the 800 number, the website (www.lipitor.com), and at local screening events
Objective #2:  Action: Mobilize women over 40 to visit their doctor for a cholesterol screening and a cholesterol-management plan to reduce their risk
Results: Sixty-one percent of TOUCHING HEARTS event attendees pledged during exit interviews to make an appointment with their doctor to get their cholesterol level checked.  Forty-five percent of those who said they’d make an appointment indicated they would do so within a few weeks’ time
During the five-month tour, nearly 1,800 women contacted the TOUCHING HEARTS Campaign 1-800 line to get more information about managing their cholesterol level