Improve public awareness of stroke and its causes with a simple call to action
Life begins at 40. So don’t let stroke stop it.
We all think we’re pretty much immortal, right? We won’t get knocked down by the bus, we can drink till sun-up, and age can’t catch up with us. Obviously, the truth is something a little different but the team at Irish Heart recently helped us myth-bust a seriously misunderstood disease called ‘stroke’. And we helped them get the message out to the nation.
Every year, more than 10,000 people in Ireland fall victim to the disease. It is the biggest cause of acquired disability and the third-biggest cause of death in this country. And the fact that it can happen at any age is an even bigger deal, with 1/3 of strokes occurring in people under sixty-five years of age. The bottom line: every year, 2000 people of working age are affected by stroke. But 80% of premature strokes can be avoided with lifestyle improvements, such as what you eat and how active you are. Convinced this requires action? So were we.
Working with the team at Irish Heart, and to coincide with National Heart Month, we were tasked to develop a campaign that informs the public, prompts action, places the organisation at the centre of the conversation and positions it as the best place to get the right information on the disease.
While stroke is something we all need to be aware of, the campaign targeted those of us in our 40s; the age where we seem to be closer to (some level of) success and have more to lose by the impact of stroke. The recently refreshed Irish Heart brand is more inclusive and with a very positive tone of voice, dictating the main message needs to emphasise prevention through a simple action: get your blood pressure checked. The end result being you can avoid stroke and begin working towards living life better.
The good news in all of this is that by making small changes to your lifestyle today you can reduce the chances of having a stroke, now and in the future:
• Quit smoking – it might seem obvious but it’s worth highlighting that quitting cuts your risk factor by half!
• Reduce your alcohol intake – your favourite tipple comes with its own calorie count. Less alcohol helps limit weight gain and adding pressure on the heart.
• Improve your diet – Simple changes to your eating habits will make a big difference – and not just to your blood pressure.
• Exercise on a regular basis – moderate exercise that increases your heart rate is good for your health in so many ways while also promoting better blood flow.
These quick tips are part of a specially developed landing page for the irishheart.ie, supported by print, radio and display advertising, that educates on the basics of what stroke is, how it can be prevented and other contributory factors. The campaign uses a diverse range of media channels to promote the page, including radio and social media. The language has been carefully crafted to engage with the most obstinate portion of the public: middle-aged men!
The campaign had a number of objectives: to position Irish Heart as the leading authority on the subject of stroke and prevention, to prompt simple and small changes in lifestyle for better heart health and to increase awareness of blood pressure as an indicator and cause of stroke. The no-nonsense yet positive attitude of the campaign, delivering a simple call-to-action, is helping Irish Heart achieve these goals. And it’s already had a positive effect on the 40-somethings at Clickworks: I’m off to get my blood pressure checked.