Social mobilisation in health

CASE STUDY: Launching a social mobilisation campaign to tackle the Australian obesity epidemic.

Ellis Jones  •  Friday July 22, 2016
Branding  •  Digital

In Australia, more than 14 million adults and children are overweight or obese.

Now at epidemic status, obesity carries huge social, health and financial costs for Australia.


To address the obesity epidemic, our client, Australian biotechnology and manufacturing company Probiotec Limited, developed Impromy – a holistic health improvement and weight loss program – as part of an innovative research partnership with the CSIRO.

Launched in 2014, the  program is delivered in over 300 pharmacies nationally and has a growing base of over 30,000 active members. The Impromy program is Australia’s fastest growing health improvement and weight loss program.


Impromy had grown exponentially since its launch, but needed a boost to continue competing in the saturated weight-loss market.

In September 2015, we were briefed to develop a campaign to re-engage existing Impromy members and reach new members.

We saw the opportunity to create a campaign that achieved both business and social results; improving the health of Australians while positioning Impromy as a leader in this effort.

The challenge with this approach was to create a platform for individuals and businesses to act on obesity, and overcome scepticism around a business-led social change campaign.


A unique approach 

To meet the challenge, Ellis Jones developed #BeTheLast: a nationwide social mobilisation campaign to tackle obesity.

The concept built on the idea that all Australian people and organisations have a role to play in addressing the obesity epidemic; that collectively we have the power to become the last generation to have serious health conditions caused by excess weight.

Applying the agency’s IDEA methodology, research was conducted to inform campaign design; evaluating the successes, failings, risks and returns of other business-led social mobilisation campaigns like Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’, The Body Shop’s ‘Ruby’ and AT&T’s ‘It Can Wait’.

Taking a strategic campaign development approach,  a #BeTheLast visual identity was developed to give the campaign an identity separate to Impromy, and represent the physical manifestation of a pledge. Target audiences were identified as not just overweight and obese Australians, but Impromy members, pharmacists and pharmacies, Impromy dietitians, CSIRO, aligned businesses and mainstream and local media.

To reach these audiences and provoke action, the strategy employed was to build a platform that empowers people and organisations to add a health pledge, supports them to achieve this pledge, and drives them to Impromy pharmacies.

Based on behavioral insights, four pledge categories were devised: physical activity, nutrition, self-monitor, support and share. To achieve the necessary reach and credibility, and gain prizes as consumer incentives, partnerships with aligned organisations were sought and secured, and CSIRO was positioned as a key campaign partner.

Building a movement 

From campaign launch on 18 January 2016, consumers were driven to the campaign micro-site via eDM’s (to existing Impromy members), Facebook advertising, digital advertising on, media coverage using spokesperson Professor Manny Noakes and a major advertorial spot on The Morning Show.

In 296 pharmacies across Australia, consumers were engaged with in-store ‘theatre’; encouraging them to add a pledge on physical pledge boards, book a pharmacy health check and connect with the campaign online.

On the #BeTheLast micro-site, consumers could use the online health check tool, read or watch a video about the link between weight and serious health conditions, read, share and vote for the growing bank of pledges, and add their own pledge. The site was a hub of activity, information and support.

Pledgers were supported and encouraged to achieve their personal goals through regular eDM’s, with contributions by Impromy dietitians and consultants, and through the #BeTheLast community on Facebook. Pharmacists, pharmacies, dietitians and partner organisations were encouraged to add their own pledges and share #BeTheLast content with their networks, further extending the campaign reach and impact.


“A smart and creative campaign that used an integrated approach to PR with great effect.”– PRIA Golden Target Awards, judges feedback

By the campaign close on 30 April 2016, #BeTheLast had reached tens of thousands of Australians through the micro-site, radio, TV, online and print news, social media and on the ground in communities all over Australia.

The campaign lead to 44,601 visits to 296 pharmacies across Australia for health checks and advice. 473 health pledges were added online, with hundreds more submitted in-store. 32 prize packs were delivered to prize winners – including two major prizes – thanks to six campaign partners including Hello Fresh, Fernwood women’s gyms and Anytime Fitness.

During the campaign period, the Impromy program gained 4,270 new customers. In January and February, Impromy achieved it’s best monthly sales results ever, predominantly due to the re-engagement of existing Impromy members.

The success of the first #BeTheLast campaign is just the beginning. Now being planned as an annual initiative, #BeTheLast will continue to morph and grow to deliver maximum returns for both the Probiotec business and Australian society.

ellis jones - bethelast - infographic - stats - v6

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