Gout & Uric Acid Education Society: Raising Awareness and Disease Education

The Challenge

After learning that only about 10 percent of gout sufferers were getting the care they needed, the Gout & Uric Acid Education Society (GUAES) charged Havas PR with developing and executing an unbranded awareness campaign to help. We needed to clear up long-standing stereotypes about the disease and trumpet the message about the true cause of gout—a buildup of urate crystals resulting from a metabolic abnormality—and its treatment.

Gout & Uric Acid Education Society

The Solution

We launched a “Time Out for Gout” campaign featuring NBA coach and former All-Star Maurice Cheeks, who was struggling with painful gout symptoms himself. Cheeks’ athletic background and nice-guy reputation let us move past gout stereotypes to begin a dialogue about the disease’s true cause. We kicked off our fully integrated campaign at NASDAQ headquarters, where Cheeks, the Savient Pharmaceuticals leadership team and two top experts from GUAES rang the opening bell. The campaign proceeded to the sports-themed 40/40 Club for a media briefing with the experts and Cheeks, and then a satellite media tour and other outreach. Every aspect of the campaign—from the logo to the NASDAQ video to Cheeks’ key messages for interviews—included our central message about urate crystals.

The Results

We secured more than 225 media placements—The Associated Press, ESPN, HealthDay and The Philadelphia Inquirer among them—generating 36.5 million impressions, with the urate crystals message in more than 90 percent of coverage.
We drove a 200 percent traffic increase to the GUAES website,
Savient’s stock price saw a 7 percent increase the day our campaign launched.