Real Results

American Heart Association "Go Red for Women"

 

Issue

The American Heart Association's inaugural "Go Red for Women" campaign was developed to raise awareness of heart disease as the #1 killer of women in America.

Insight

Using the color red as the symbol of women and heart disease, the AHA sought to put America on "red alert" to reduce risk factors by issuing the first-ever, female-specific heart health guidelines. The program encouraged women to learn more about heart disease and wear the color red on the first Friday in February.

Daryl Hannah – a star whose popularity crossed generations (from Splash to Kill Bill) was identified as celebrity spokesperson. The actress spoke about her mother, sister and best friend, who all had heart issues. She was paired with Dr. Neica Goldberg, a NYC-based cardiologist. Muriel Siebert, the first woman to hold a seat on the NY Stock Exchange, was invited to be the spokesperson for business interviews. Both celebrities encouraged women to participate in "Wear Red Day" (Feb. 6). Letters were written to invite business and civic leaders and TV anchors and celebrities to participate in "Go Red" Day. The p.r. campaign kicked off with a press conference for science writers about the new heart health guidelines and followed with a red dress fashion show at Macy's, an AHA sponsor along with Pfizer. John Mooney's team produced and distributed b-roll from the event, including medical information and client and sponsor quotes to TV stations across the country. Additionally, major U.S. landmarks, including Niagara Falls, the Sears Tower, and the Empire State Building "went red."

Impact

"Go Red for Women" and the AHA's female-specific heart health guidelines received major coverage from top tier media, including Associated Press, ABC World News Tonight, NBC Today Show and Nightly News, The View, Extra, CNN, CNBC, FOX News, USA Today, The New York Times, Wall St. Journal, Daily News, and hundreds of local outlets. TV anchors, including Katie Couric, Barbara Walters and the entire cast of The View participated by wearing red. Thanks in large part to the campaign's media relations success, the AHA logged nearly 40,000 calls to its heart health information line: 888-MY-HEART (a major objective of Go Red). The campaign was recognized with the industry's prestigious PR Week Award.