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Ogilvy & Mather tackle Cyberchondria for healthcare app Babylon

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As a nation of hypochondriacs, it's become all too common for us to reach for Google to analyse our health concerns before actually booking a doctor's appointment. The problem is that Google often only serves to underline our worst fears, so before you know it, a mild cold becomes something terminal. Healthcare app Babylon hopes to act as a sort of middle ground between Googling your symptoms and actually going to the Doctors, and a new marketing campaign for the groundbreaking app cunningly plays on the modern phenomenon of “Cyberchondria” with some amusing outdoor, press and digital ads scheduled to drop as the NHS prepares to trial the app as an alternative to non-emergency helpline 111.

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Created by Max Maclean and Ran Stallard at Ogilvy & Mather London, the integrated creative campaign, which is the first by above-the-line campaign for Babylon since O&M were appointed in November last year, highlights the often dramatic & humorous situations people find themselves in when they turn to the internet seeking medical advice. Since being appointed by Babylon in September 2016, the agency set out to reach an audience they refer to as generation “I want what I want when I want it.” A pool of consumers with behaviour built upon modern day expectations defined by online behaviours around purchasing, entertainment & dating. So millennials then. The campaign; “Don’t ask the internet. Ask a real doctor displays hyperbolic responses to questions that are regularly asked by internet users with examples such as “Search: Hair Loss. Did you mean: Erectile dysfunction?” and “Search: Hangover. Did you mean: Liver transplant?” Using this admittedly over-the-top examples, the campaign seeks to playfully remind people a more reliable way to take care of your health now exists through Babylon.

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Insight gathered for the campaign shows that 1 in 20 online searches are health related, with time-poor digital natives growing tired of the time it often takes to secure an appointment with the GP and instead turning to search engines to self diagnose. With this in mind, the Babylon app has been created by experienced doctors, data scientists and engineers to provide safe, trusted medical advice, globally 24/7. App users can answer questions about their symptoms for fast, accurate advice or talk to a doctor or therapist via video through the app as well as order tests, prescriptions and medication for delivery. The integrated campaign launched in London this week and will feature ATL, OOH, DOOH, press & digital executions.

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Mick Mahoney, Chief Creative Officer at Ogilvy & Mather London, said: “Who hasn’t googled a suspected ailment only to discover that it’s potentially far worse than you thought? And by the time you’ve managed to get a doctor’s appointment it has escalated to a rare and fatal fungal infection. With Babylon you can get real advice from medical experts in seconds. A prescription gets sent to your nearest chemist immediately and the rash has cleared by lunch-time. Hopefully, London’s cybercondriacs will recognise themselves in the ads, download the app and save us all from their neurosis.” Charlie Peachey, Marketing Director at Babylon, added: “Our mission at Babylon has always been to transform healthcare to reflect modern day life; and ultimately to provide accessible & affordable healthcare for everyone by combining human medical expertise with world class technology. Our latest campaign with Ogilvy is a nod to the popular search engine self-diagnosis and resulting lack of clarity on what to do next. We want people to know that trusted Babylon advice and doctors are always on hand, right on their phones, 24/7, globally.”

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