Thirty-three percent of visitors to Stryker's branded website GetAroundKnee.com are heading straight for the surgeon locator, Paul Berman, the firm's VP of global knee marketing told MM&M.
The search rate is much higher than it had been before rolling out the campaign for its roughly eight-year-old orthopedic device, Berman says.
The spike in web traffic is a direct result of the company's first television campaign since its 2003 campaign for ceramic hips that featured golfer Jack Nicklaus. Berman said the re-branding's objective was to help patients appreciate the advantage of its artificial knee, which is round, in an effort to mimic the knee's naturally circular motion. Most of the replacements on the market are oval, and Stryker sought to make this distinction a focal point. DTC ads by inVentiv Health's GSW Worldwide show a vintage turntable spinning an oval-shaped record and a woman riding a bike with oval wheels.
Hence the new product name, the Get Around Knee System, which Berman said was chosen because it's “easy to remember, a bit catchy and really connected to the benefit of the product.”
The 2012 re-branding and promotion kicked off with a communications stream to orthopedic surgeons in January. The patient-oriented materials were sent into the marketplace in May.
The professional input resulted in a few tweaks, such as changing the types of patient activities shown in ads, and bolstering claims with more clinical information. This new information became part of the May rollout, which started with print ads in Time and People. The campaign then progressed to include three 30-second TV ads which appear during early morning and evening news hours on stations including CNN, FoxNews and TNT.
Although the print ads were used to introduce patients to the product, Berman said TV is the more critical media plan component; their market research showed that Baby Boomers—prime candidates for knee replacement—logged in around 29 hours of TV a week.
The company is not yet able to translate web hits to surgical bookings, yet Berman said early indicators “are all higher than our expectations.”
The company is also looking into expanding the Get Around Knee narrative to include its ShapeMatching system, which is used to customize the device. What's more, PGA golfer Fred Funk, who is also part of the Get Around Knee promotion, may be used for local promotion efforts.
Early successes have “definitely got us thinking about how else we could leverage this message,” said Berman, for other parts of the business, including hips and other Stryker products.