It’s not unusual for campaigns that are featured in Campaign Confidential to have a specific target audience.

Often in this space, there’s coverage of rare disease educational efforts that ultimately focus on a patient community of a few hundred or thousand patients in the U.S.

Conversely, some campaigns go for a broader audience registering in the millions

The Never Miss campaign from AstraZeneca and Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, is in the latter camp. The joint campaign is a global push to reach millions of middle-aged men, specifically those over 45 in the case of Black men. The message is a warning about the risk of prostate cancer and the delivery is multilingual, coming in English, French, German and Spanish. 

The campaign builds on a loose theme that its creators believe has a near universal male approval: a love of sports. The sports motif is expressed mostly through imagery of fans at events and in campaign messaging like the tagline, “Never miss a game. Never miss a goal. Never miss a chance at a diagnosis.” 

The audience for the Never Miss campaign is, however, running a risk at missing those early diagnoses because of an attitude that many of them share. 

“One common trait amongst this population is that men don’t generally talk as often about their health,” Andrea Mugan, VP and global franchise head of DDR & GYN/GU cancers at AstraZeneca explains, “Particularly, this is true when it comes to what’s perceived to be a more sensitive topic, as is the case when we’re talking about prostate cancer. Loved ones also don’t always find it as easy to approach and have this conversation.”

The centerpiece of the campaign is the Never Miss website, complete with Instagram and Facebook pages contributing to site traffic and awareness. 

For Mugan, one of the most valuable aspects of the campaign is its conversation guides for patients that advise how to talk to a doctor and discuss the condition with loved ones. In both cases, alongside conversation starters, the guides help readers understand and label their concerns while also prioritizing the topics they may want to address.

There is also a guide focused on talking to someone who may be at risk, which urges readers to consider the particular individual’s preferences. This may include writing down one’s thoughts in advance and encouraging people to keep the tone light. 

“We were talking to men that are at risk as well as their loved ones,” Mugan says. “These could be adult children or even grandchildren who love these men as well. We needed to make sure it’s relatable to that broad population and I think it’s been done in a way that allows us to achieve that.” 

“I’m already using it to have some difficult conversations [in other areas of] my life where this is relevant,” she adds. 

Roughly six weeks since its initial launch, Mugan is pleased with the traffic and numbers that Never Miss has generated. 

“The engagement rate is constantly above 60% and the click-through rate is above the industry standard—it’s almost approaching 10%,” she says. 

Foremost among what distinguishes the campaign is its global reach—through one unified platform—and this has meant that in individual markets there have been additional activations driving traffic. 

In Spain, for example, a panel of retired soccer players in their ‘50s and HCPs helped further share the message of the need for early detection. Santiago Cañizares, a celebrated former soccer star, is the face of the campaign there. 

“Never Miss provides an opportunity to talk about prostate cancer in different ways,” Mugan concludes. “We are looking forward to expanding this campaign to more markets across the globe.”