Name of product/campaign: How I Fight MS

Name of company/client owning product/campaign: EMD Serono

Year launched: 2010

Type of media: MOA

Agency producing product/campaign: Greater Than One

Team members:
Pilar Belhumeur, Creative Director
John Mahler, Strategist
Stefan Armstrong, Copywriter
Penny Lam, Account Lead
Christa Toole, SEO
Joe Fullman, Junior Strategist

Goals of product/campaign:

  • To create a “real world” online community of people with MS, where they could share authentic lifestyle information through their own videos to help each other get more out of life with MS
  • To harness the reach of hand-picked social media influencers as a new way of building and maintaining an online community of patients interested in authentic lifestyle information

Description of product/campaign: featured videos, blogs, photos, essays, polls, and even playlists created by 5 hand-picked influencer-patients with MS, with regularly scheduled content updates twice a month. Visits to the site were accelerated when the 5 vloggers posted news about and links to the campaign on their own social media channels (YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter). Their large numbers of followers became regular visitors to The site enabled visitors to “share” a particular post or “send to a friend,” and it provided a registration option to receive additional premium content and ongoing communications from the vloggers through the “How I Fight MS” eCRM email program.

What made this a special product/campaign: “How I Fight MS” was a pioneer in identifying and working with social media influencer-patients for a disease awareness campaign. It blazed a trail into featuring patient-generated content, and it was the vanguard in meeting a real need for authentic lifestyle information around living with MS (instead of just providing disease state information).

Greater Than One utilized a unique social media strategy, starting with online and social media research, that identified a need for video-based lifestyle content among patients with MS. Capitalizing on the very strong presence of existing MS bloggers, we measured their influence and visibility, narrowed the field to the strongest 12, and recruited the top 5 as featured influencers in the campaign. We nurtured our relationships with them by providing in-person training on videography, content production schedules, communication protocols, and ongoing dialogue.

The “How I Fight MS” website received more than 200,000 visits—representing 70% of the American MS population—and thousands of YouTube views and patient registrations. The campaign also received very positive press from MS advocacy groups and bloggers. About the sponsor of the campaign, EMD Serono, one blogger said, “This is an example of a drug company that is trying to do the right thing by hearing from real MSers about their real experience.”

Awards and honors the product/campaign received:
Interactive Media Award for Best Medical/Non-Profit Website
Interactive Media Award for Outstanding Achievement Community
Hive Award for Best Community Website
Hive Award for Pharmaceutical Blog
Webby Finalist for Reality/Non-Profit Website
ECHO Leader Award
Communicator Award for Interactive Media
Communicator Award of Excellence (Reality)
Communicator Award of Distinction (Health and Wellness)
Communicator Award of Distinction (Health)