Stopping Australia's Worst Serial Killer
2020 Finalist

Stopping Australia's Worst Serial Killer

News Corp Australia

Surry Hills, Australia

Category Native Advertising

Media associated with this campaign

Overview of this campaign

Put simply we needed to put heart disease back on the agenda for everyday Australians and the health industry – awareness that heart disease is our leading killer had fallen by over 50% in the past 5 years – to achieve this we had two main objectives:

  1. Apply pressure to the Australian Government to introduce Medicare-funded Heart Health Checks to save thousands of lives. A feat the Heart Foundation had been endeavouring to achieve via a consistent advocacy push for more than 10 years.
  2. Encourage Australians to understand their individual risk of heart disease and learn how to reduce their risk. As part of the campaign the Heart Foundation launched the Heart Age Calculator – an online motivational tool to raise awareness about heart disease risks, with the aim of prompting people to act by seeing their doctor for a Heart Health Check and also learn about how they can reduce their risks by understanding their risk factors and the benefits of increased exercise and better nutrition. We forecast a response rate of 50,000 Calculator completes in the first year following launch.

To achieve this, we needed a strong campaign that targeted government, health industry professionals and all Australians. We needed a compelling creative idea that ‘brought back the fear’ of heart disease and a motivating call to action to drive a strong response.

Results for this campaign

The “Serial Killer” campaign was quickly and dramatically successful in winning government support for an initiative that has alerted many Australians of their risk of heart disease in time for them to be able to do something about it; and in raising awareness of heart disease risk more generally via the Heart Age Calculator.

In the first seven days, the campaign’s immediate and profound effect, resulted in:

  • An Australian Government promise to introduce a dedicated Medicare Benefits Schedule item number for Heart Health Checks , which the Heart Foundation estimates will prevent 9,100 deaths from heart attack and stroke, 76,000 heart attacks avoided and $1.5b in health costs saved over the next five years.
  • A staggering 120,000 Heart Age Calculator completes in the first 2 days, with over 160,000 Heart Age Calculator completes before the end of the first week.

And in driving Australians to take action, since launch, we have seen:

  • More than one million people complete the Heart Foundation’s Heart Age Calculator.
  • An incredible 70,000 Australians have visited their GP using the newly introduced MBS item number for Heart Health Checks, with visits continuing to growing significantly.
  • The national media coverage received 75.2 million exposures to the key messages from the campaign. There have been 5,524 news stories featured, achieving an estimated media value of $13 million
  • Over 2.5 million people visited the Heart Foundation website during the Serial Killer campaign with over 9.1 million page views to date, a 70% growth compared to the months prior launch.
  • Contacts to the Heart Foundation Helpline grew by 26% in the week after the campaign launch resulting in a 130% increase in health-related inquiries in February alone.

Heart disease is being put back on the map, and more importantly, saving lives.


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