We successfully implemented for the first time in Greece a disease awareness campaign for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). COPD is an unknown disease, but it will be the 3rd leading cause of death by 2020. It is often under-diagnosed because patients are not properly tested to detect the disease. Since patients may attribute symptoms to their smoking habit or aging, they do not seek help and remain undiagnosed until they experience serious worsening of their condition. Delayed diagnosis results in patients suffering symptoms and limitations that could otherwise be alleviated by treatment as well as missing the potential opportunity to slow the progress of the disease.

With central message the word “breath”, the company created awareness and noise about the disease, by highlighting the symptoms, in order to “open the market” and highlight Novartis’ innovation & leadership. The campaign was set under the auspices of the Greek Thoracic Society and included a TVC (aired as social message), radio spot, print ads in weekly supplements, banner campaign, online hub, posters and leaflets distribution to pharmacies and hospitals. The campaign spinned off via a press conference, which generated strong publicity in both traditional and digital media and was further escalated with feature articles and interviews in high viewership/readership touchpoints.

The program also included a strong CSR aspect, as a roadshow was implemented in selected distant islands and big cities of Greece, where the population was provided with free spirometries and medical advice.

The campaign reached over 400 print & online references, with more than 92 million impressions. Due to its success, the campaign continues to inform people about COPD for a second year with great impact.