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NASS – The National Axial Spondyloarthritis Society

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Public Awareness Media Campaign

NASS – The National Axial Spondyloarthritis Society – is the only UK charity supporting people with axial SpA specifically. Axial SpA is a form of inflammatory arthritis that most commonly affects the spine. It is not rare and affects an estimated 1 in 200 of the adult population in the UK. (approximately 220,000*) The current time to diagnosis of axial SpA in the UK averages approximately 8.5 years from symptom onset. NASS research released in June 2021 found that: 

 

  • 91%

    have never heard of the condition. 

  • 80%

    could not identify the symptoms of axial SpA.

  • 73%

    did not know that the disease starts when people are young.  

The Objective

This pilot campaign in Belfast followed a national campaign and required an agency with in-depth knowledge and experience of delivering public information campaigns in NI. The objective was to raise awareness of axial SpA as a condition targeting a younger audience of 18–40-year-olds in Northern Ireland with persistent lower back pain to motivate them to consider whether they have the condition. We wanted to encourage them to visit  www.actonaxialspa.com and complete the online symptom checker. 

The target locations for the campaign were South and East Belfast with immediate proximity access to the newly opened clinic. 

The Strategy

6-week highly targeted campaign to the 109,000, 18–40-year-olds living in Belfast. We used TGI to identify the top channels for the target audience to deliver a campaign across their high frequency media touchpoints.  

Geotargeted OOH to South and East Belfast. We used a combination of high impact billboards, Adshel Live and shopping centre digital screens. We partnered with leading OOH contractor Clear Channel, whose digital plant enabled us to creatively exploit their screens. We created the illusion of a shattered screen to convey the earth-shattering impact of back pain. We handpicked locations adjacent to the commuter hubs of Lanyon and Great Victoria Street stations and proximity to the clinic location. 

Radio

TGI identified that 51% of our 18-40 audience tune into Cool FM every week. (NI TGI 2023) With 490,000 weekly listeners and an average Facebook monthly reach of over 1.5 million, Bauer station Cool FM was the perfect radio and social partner. We  

ran an airtime campaign which targeted the commuter peaks and complemented with cost-effective airtime at night and the weekends when our audience were out socialising. 

To enable us to give more detail on the condition and educate our audience we ran two native content articles on Cool’s website and drove reads social posts to their million plus following across Facebook and Instagram. 

Social Media

70% of our target audience use Facebook regularly and 60%, Instagram. (Source: NI TGI 2023). We delivered hero creative reinforcing our OOH but expanded our messaging with a suite of awareness building and direct response formats. We applied granular targeting of those with an interest in health and wellbeing and, contact sports which lead to back pain to ensure hyper relevancy while using a stand-alone Reels strategy to support the main campaign. 

The Results

With precise targeting, our media selection and our media partnerships delivered the following: 

6 -week mass awareness campaign in Belfast 

  • Our OOH reached 81% of 18–40-year-olds in Belfast – over 88,000 with an average frequency of 23 TIMES. 
  • Our radio campaign reached over 565,000 Adults in NI. 
  • 2,390 people read the articles on Cool FM. 
  • Over 3,350 visited the website and 337 completed the symptom checker. 
  • We served 995,000 social media ads to our audience across Facebook and Instagram. 
  • Reached 166,800 people in the Greater Belfast Area 
  • There were over 228,000 engagements with the social campaign. 
  • Delivered 9,000 Google Home Page Sessions