The Medical, Marketing and Media Awards for 2016 were held last week and a TV commercial about whooping cough took home the gold! Big Bad Cough was about a grandmother who transforms into a big bad wolf drives home the point that grandparents can unwittingly transmit whooping cough to an infant grandchild. Judges appreciated the spot’s creativity and impact.

GOLD: Big Bad Cough

Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide and GlaxoSmithKline


“A wonderfully executed insight into the danger a grandparent presents to infants,” one judge said.

A second judge “loved the creative premise” and thought the animation was “very engaging.”

Research showing low awareness of whooping cough as an existing and ongoing danger to infants informed the overall strategy. The creative plays to the horror grandparents feel when they realize they could be a source of harm to a grandchild.

The campaign goal was to educate grandparents (particularly first-time grandparents) and parents about the serious nature of whooping cough and drive them to ask their doctor or pharmacist for information about getting vaccinated.

As one judge noted, the campaign yielded “big bad results,” including 78% aided awareness and 31% unaided awareness within six months of launch. A survey showed 72% of the target audience had either consulted their doctors about vaccination or planned to, which was confirmed by a physician survey that revealed a high rate of grandparents asking about vaccinations, of whom more than 75% asked to be immunised.


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