Bayer creates 'everyday hero' campaign for aspirin

Bayer is arming the everyman with aspirin to stop heart attack deaths in a new awareness campaign.

The HeroSmith campaign encourages people across the country to become everyday heroes by carrying aspirin. To kick off the campaign, Bayer started with people with the last name "Smith" in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

"The idea was if we activated one group, we would be able to make a difference," said Laurie Hekmat, U.S. marketing director for Bayer Aspirin and Midol and Bayer consumer health. "It started with the Smiths, which is the most common last name. Then, we went a little deeper and found the places with highest rate of heart attacks and one was Fort Smith."

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In a video accompanying the campaign, Bayer spotlighted the stories of eight Smiths from Fort Smith who carry aspirin, emphasizing how something so simple can make a difference. Though the video focuses on this city, the goal is to encourage every Smith—and people with other last names—in the country to start carrying aspirin.

The HeroSmith theory, which the campaign is based on, is that if every Smith carried aspirin, thousands of lives could be saved.

Bayer is running the campaign on social media, particularly on the Bayer Aspirin Facebook page. Hekmat said because the purpose of the campaign is to get everyone in the country to carry aspirin, it is targeting a wider audience than usual with the Facebook videos.

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Bayer worked with creative agency BBDO and PR firm Marina Maher Communications to develop the campaign. The HeroSmith effort began at the beginning of February and will run through the end of the month.

The campaign also has a microsite that shows statistics about heart attacks, explains what to do if someone is having a heart attack, and encourages people to take the pledge to start carrying aspirin.

"The campaign is living into our brand purpose for Bayer Aspirin and thinking about what we stand for: helping people stay alive," Hekmat said. "Ultimately, the campaign is a call to action for people to carry aspirin, do the right thing, and be heroes."

This story first appeared in PRWeek.