Lupus awareness will receive a much higher profile, and subsequently more visibility, later this year when the Advertising Council – which has created some of our most endearing pop culture icons, including Smokey the Bear, McGruff the Crime Dog, and the Crash Test Dummies – launches a three-year, $3 million national lupus public awareness campaign.
The initiative is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health (OWH), in partnership with the Lupus Foundation of America. The Lupus Foundation of America is serving as the primary non-governmental co-sponsor for the campaign, and will work closely with the Ad Council to develop the campaign.
When it launches in mid- to late 2008, the lupus awareness campaign will include public service announcements on radio and television stations, in newspapers and magazines, on buses, subways, and billboards, as well as on the Internet. Additionally, the campaign will generate $30-$50 million annually in free media placements, and is expected to reach more than 100 million adults in the U.S. with life-saving information about lupus.
The multicultural advertising agency of Muse USA, based in Los Angeles, has been selected by the Ad Council to produce the campaign. The LFA worked with Muse USA and the Ad Council to organize a series of focus groups that were held over the past two weeks in San Antonio, Chicago and Los Angeles. In each city, groups of people with and without lupus were asked a series of questions about their perceptions of lupus, where and how they obtain information about their health, and their reaction to draft messages about lupus. The information gleaned from these focus groups, along with extensive public opinion research conducted by the LFA, will help the Muse USA creative team develop a very effective campaign on lupus.
This campaign will have a great impact on visibility for lupus, and is expected to greatly raise the level of awareness and support for the disease and those affected by the disease. We will keep you apprised of the campaign’s progress as it develops.