ogilvy health influence offering

Boosting the influence of pharma, health and wellness brands

With the creator economy rapidly expanding, Ogilvy has created a global ‘Health Influence’ offering to tap into consumers turning to social media for health advice

By Creative Salon

It may come as a surprise that most people now seek to learn about health and medical issues from social media – and what's more, a vast majority of those who engage take some form of action. But these people are no longer solely getting the insights they need from healthcare providers, rather they are getting tips from health influencers.

The creator economy is increasingly seeing brands recognise the potential for growth in the space, with some bridging the gap between medical expertise and public awareness. Both patient and healthcare provider communities are relying on social media platforms for health information, with influencers helping people understand and make health and wellness decisions more than ever before.

A whopping seven in 10 people learn about health or medical issues from social media accounts, according to new data from Ogilvy Research and Intelligence. A vast majority of those who engage (93 per cent) with health-related social media accounts take action as a result of seeing health and medical related social media content and a further 54 per cent schedule appointments with healthcare professionals also.

Of those who are engaged with health-related social media accounts, nearly all (92 per cent) cited a positive impact with just under half (47 per cent) reporting that health related social media accounts have made it easier to learn about health conditions. 42 per cent also indicate that they feel more confident in making decisions about their health because of health or medical social media accounts. Additionally, and perhaps most interestingly, eMarketer found that 57 per cent of physicians have altered their perception of a drug or treatment based on information from social platforms.

Who are these health influencers rewriting the rules and giving daily tips to the UK? The most popular name in the UK is former Love Island contestant Dr Alex George (Instagram handle @dralexgeorgeInstagram - followers 2 million) who is also the UK Youth Mental Health Ambassador within the Department for Education.

The other four influencers making the top five health influencers in the UK are: Dr Hazel Wallace (Instagram handle @thefoodmedic - followers 723.1K), Coral Golding (Instagram handle @coral_pearl_ - followers 156.3K), Madeleine Shaw (Instagram handle @madeleine_shaw_ - followers 263.2K) and Dr Rangan Chatterjee (Instagram handle @drchatterjee - followers 959.9K).

So, how can pharmaceutical, healthcare, and wellness brands access this rapidly growing influence economy? Ogilvy has launched a health-first suite of global influencer marketing services that will enable brands to establish relationships with patients and healthcare communities, leading to improved consumer engagement, medical adoption, and brand awareness.

The ‘Health Influence’ offering will combine the global agency’s specialisms, bringing together Ogilvy PR’s award-winning global influencer team with experts from Ogilvy Health that brings deep experience working across the health and wellness spectrum.

Clients will be aided in leveraging credible health and wellness authorities to build disease awareness, engage hard-to-reach communities, and build trust and engagement with a variety of stakeholders. Services range from strategic guidance on engaging with influencers at brand, therapeutic, and corporate levels through to influencer identification, vetting and campaign activation.

The new offering from Ogilvy is powered by Ogilvy PR’s proprietary tech stack designed to evaluate influencers from every angle, prioritising genuine reach over follower counts and aligning engagement metrics with an organisation’s business objectives.  

Health Influence is a response to the fact that we exist in a social age of health and wellness where shared experience is highly valued. “Expert and specialist influencers are a new frontier for health and pharma brand engagement,” Kim Johnson, global CEO of Ogilvy Health, says.

“We know that different forms of social and influencer content play a major role in educating and shaping positive health decisions in society today – from how people cope with symptoms to when they seek a diagnosis. Ogilvy's extensive experience enables us to work with credible voices to share health information in captivating, accessible ways that resonate with diverse audiences - while complying with all regulations," Johnson continues. “Like consumer and business audiences, increasing trust and sparking business growth depends on authentic credibility, not just hard sales. Pharma and healthcare brands that get this right will reap the benefits from a rapidly expanding creator economy.”

Rahul Titus, Ogilvy’s global head of influence, also notes that the future of Health Influence is around real experts driving real impact. “Own your conversation around health, or someone else will. Leveraging Ogilvy’s legacy as the industry's earliest adopter of social influence, we provide a balanced approach to social media in health, blending innovation with expert translation of health information for wider audiences. 

“Our unique set of tools and proprietary tech stack is designed with our clients, their patients, and their patients’ data in mind. Our experts understand the unique landscape of health and influencer marketing, ensuring regulatory compliance while delivering powerful narratives through credible influencers. We're not just following the rules, we're rewriting them.”  

According to Caroline Howe, CEO of Ogilvy Health EMEA, society is also at a point of “peak illness” and “peak wellness”.

She adds: “An aging population means more people are living with chronic illness, while more people than ever are seeking wellness and lifestyle solutions to better their health. Our experts understand the unique landscape of health and influencer marketing, navigating the regulatory compliance while delivering creative effectiveness and powerful narratives, all told through credible influencers.”   

Health Influence will be driven by a global team including Rahul Titus globally; Shannon Walsh, Michael DiSalvo and Ansley Williams in North America; Rebecca Carter and Imogen Coles in the UK; Carter and John Harding-Easson in EMEA; Stephanie Chua and James Baldwin in Asia.

A webinar entitled ‘Ogilvy On: Unlocking the Power of Health Influence’ will also provide more information on the offering on 6 June.


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