De­cod­ing Sleep Ap­nea

A closer look at Philips’ new con­sumer-fac­ing cam­paign for sleep ap­nea re­lated prod­ucts.

The Brand Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - By Su­nit Roy su­

This vi­ral video gives se­ri­ous thought to a sleep dis­or­der.

The in­ter­net can make any­one an overnight star. Ev­i­dently, af­ter #Danc­ingUn­cle San­jeev Shri­vas­tava, Arvind Bha­tia, aka #Sleep­yUn­cle, has be­come quite a sen­sa­tion with ne­ti­zens. So much so that the hi­lar­i­ous video of #Sleep­yUn­cle has gone vi­ral, be­ing shared, posted and tagged over and over again es­pe­cially by tweeple. But what seems to be an in­no­cent post by a young girl of her fa­ther’s snor­ing habit and for­get­ful­ness and how he dozes off al­most ev­ery­where, is ac­tu­ally part of Philips In­dia’s lat­est ad­ver­tis­ing trick - #Don­tSleep­OnIt.

A few weeks be­fore the ad film was launched Philips In­dia seeded the #Sleep­yUn­cle memes that went vi­ral mak­ing Mr Bha­tia, the fo­cal point of the cam­paign, an in­ter­net sen­sa­tion. The brand wanted to catch peo­ple laugh­ing about the symp­toms and then give se­ri­ous thought to sleep ap­nea (a sleep dis­or­der).

“We re­leased a short clip of #Sleep­yUn­cle snooz­ing at the break­fast ta­ble while his kids made a sym­phony of his snores. The clip set the mo­men­tum for us to launch the main film #Don­tSleep­OnIt. We will be us­ing a mix of dig­i­tal, OOH and print to scale it up fur­ther,” ex­plains R Har­ish, head of sleep and res­pi­ra­tory care and health­care at home, Philips In­dia.

Con­cep­tu­alised and cre­ated by The Glitch, the cam­paign tar­gets ur­ban au­di­ences pri­mar­ily for the rea­son that they have bet­ter ac­cess to health­care fa­cil­i­ties and also be­cause th­ese con­sumers are at a higher risk/ pre­dis­posed to de­velop sleep ap­nea.

This is not the first time that sleep ap­nea has been ad­ver­tised; health in­sti­tu­tions also do so, but fail to get much reach. Last year, Philips re­leased a cam­paign fea­tur­ing Ram Kapoor and Gau­tami Kapoor to mar­ket its sleep ap­nea prod­ucts.

Pa­tients usu­ally come to know about this con­di­tion only when they go for health check-ups. Hence, the brand un­der­took de­tailed mar­ket­ing re­search to un­der­stand con­sumer at­ti­tude to­wards the most com­monly vis­i­ble symp­toms of sleep ap­nea. It brought in some in­ter­est­ing in­sights such as - snor­ing is uni­ver­sally seen as the most prom­i­nent symp­tom and seen as a marker of deep or rest­ful sleep. Also, ‘Bhu­lakkar’ and ‘Kharaate-cham­pion’ are com­mon terms peo­ple use in jest, which made the brand and the cre­ative team re­alise that to cre­ate aware­ness, changing the con­ver­sa­tion around th­ese symp­toms was a must.

“While ‘kharaate’ (snor­ing) is a nui­sance for the bed part­ner, the fam­ily doesn’t usu­ally see that as a strong enough rea­son to meet a sleep spe­cial­ist,” re­veals Har­ish.

He adds, “It is es­ti­mated that 7-9 per cent of the In­dian adult pop­u­la­tion suf­fers from sleep ap­nea. How­ever, de­spite the high preva­lence, aware­ness of the dis­or­der is still quite low. We have un­der­taken mul­ti­ple sur­veys over the last few years which firmed up our be­lief that a con­sumer ad cam­paign was the need of the hour to raise aware­ness and ini­ti­ate a di­a­logue on this dis­or­der.”

We wanted to know how chal­leng­ing it was to craft a com­mu­ni­ca­tion for a not-sopop­u­lar prod­uct/one in the med­i­cal equip­ment cat­e­gory, as it is more of a B2B deal than B2C.

“It is a chal­leng­ing cat­e­gory to de­sign a cam­paign for,” agrees Har­ish, adding, “Not just be­cause of the med­i­cal un­der­pin­ning, but the symp­toms are of­ten hid­ing in plain sight and con­ven­tion­ally not seen as mark­ers of a deeper dis­or­der. This prompted us to de­sign a cam­paign that strikes a chord with view­ers by de­pict­ing how the seem­ingly hu­mor­ous/ev­ery­day sit­u­a­tions are man­i­fes­ta­tions of a deeper prob­lem. It was a de­par­ture from the usual style of health­care cat­e­gory cam­paigns which are more ed­uca­tive or B2B in na­ture, but that was a bet we were will­ing to take,” he says.

Kabir Kochhar, found­ing part­ner, The Glitch, adds, “The Philips team did not want just a prod­uct-cen­tric film. They en­cour­aged us to first build an en­gag­ing nar­ra­tive, draw in the con­sumers and then bring out the need to visit a sleep spe­cial­ist. The team en­sured that we don’t trig­ger fear in the prospec­tive cus­tomer. In­stead, it would make the brand a companion in the user jour­ney by help­ing cus­tomers iden­tify with char­ac­ters in the film.”


Ac­cord­ing to Pra­ful Akali, founder and MD, Medulla Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, the cam­paign brings alive the chal­lenges faced by suf­fer­ers in a prac­ti­cal, yet en­gag­ing way.

“The con­tent works be­cause any sleep ap­nea suf­ferer or their fam­ily, who view the video, would be able to iden­tify if they’re suf­fer­ing from sleep ap­nea and it also shames them into tak­ing ac­tion. So, it can drive be­havioural change too,” says Akali.

Ayan Banik, as­so­ciate vi­cepres­i­dent - strate­gic plan­ning, Cheil In­dia, has this to say: “Once peo­ple are suf­fi­ciently aware, sales will hap­pen. And Philips, as a hugely trusted global brand, will get the first mover ad­van­tage and pref­er­ence in prod­uct pur­chase for bring­ing this ail­ment into pub­lic con­ver­sa­tion. So, it’s ac­tu­ally a B2C move that will trig­ger B2B sales,” he says, adding, “but the ex­e­cu­tion should have been more re­al­is­tic to in­crease its ap­peal and rel­e­vance.” ■

Re­search showed that snor­ing is uni­ver­sally seen as a symp­tom of deep or rest­ful sleep.

“While snor­ing is a nui­sance, the fam­ily doesn’t usu­ally see that as a strong rea­son to meet a sleep spe­cial­ist.”


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