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NHS Dudley takes inspiration from TOWIE's vajazzling craze for smear test campaign


By The Drum Team | Editorial

April 6, 2012 | 3 min read

The 'vajazzling' craze made popular by The Only Way is Essex has inspired a new campaign in Dudley to break the taboo surrounding smear tests.

The NHS Dudley campaign

NHS Dudley hopes its new radio, outdoor, direct and online campaign will help reverse a decline in take-up of the free tests since 2001.

Created by brand agency ORB, the ads feature a discreet vajazzled heart on a woman’s outline with the message: "Your smear test is more than skin deep".

All buses out of the Dudley depot will carry the adverts for eight weeks. Posters will appear in pharmacies and GP surgeries as well as local pubs and clubs. Beacon Radio will also feature a series of 30- and 10-second spots throughout April.

ORB has also created a microsite, Facebook advert and page which provide advice about the test and what women should expect when going for the first time.

And invitations to young women to book their first test will carry campaign branding and an information leaflet.

ORB managing director, Rob Bloxham, said: “Dudley asked us to overcome barriers to attending smear tests that they identified in behavioural studies. These included negative perceptions about an ‘invasive’ process that they didn’t need as they were young and healthy.

“They also complained of a lack of appropriate and engaging information aimed at young women. We hope our approach makes the difference.”


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