Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

Recovery Is Possible

The state of Montana faced a public health crisis as the opioid epidemic, which had devastated the East Coast and Appalachia, spread throughout its boarders. As opioid overdoses spiked, Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (MT DPHHS) needed a campaign that would quickly address this life-threatening issue while changing public perception.

Working with our longtime client, MT DPHHS, and in line with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Data-Driven Prevention Initiative, Asher was brought in to create the state’s first opioid awareness campaign. The initiative included the following goals: educating the public, increasing awareness of the opioid issue, and fighting the major stigma associated with the disease of drug addiction. Asher’s public health team worked with MT DPHHS, Montana Medical Association, Montana Pharmacy Association Prescription Drug Registry and numerous physicians to develop an integrated multimedia campaign.

Montana DPHHS, Addicted to opiods campaign digital ad

The campaign included the following deliverables and services:

  • (:15) Television commercials statewide broadcast and cable
  • (:15) Digital videos Facebook/Instagram, programmatic, SEM, and OTT
  • Outdoor boards
  • Statewide placement

Creative featured specific at-risk groups, such as pregnant young women and Native Americans. It also highlighted more mainstream demographics affected by opioid addiction, including “soccer moms” and adult males in general. This approach helped to make the point that opioid addiction does not discriminate while drawing attention to the other key messages: Addiction is a disease, recovery is possible, and treatment is available.

Montana DPHHS, Addicted to opiods campaign billboard

An epidemiological evaluation was completed to assess the impact and success of the campaign, which yielded the following impressive results:

  • 9.9 million impressions on social media
  • Roughly 50% of those exposed to the campaign strongly agreed that Montana had an opioid problem (compared to only 31% of those not exposed to the campaign)
  • 70% of those who saw the TV commercials remembered details of the ads
  • 40% of those exposed to the social media ads and 32% of those who saw the TV commercials said the ads changed their perception of opioids

Cumulatively, results demonstrate that the campaign spurred awareness and the potential for prevention in the state. Since the successful launch of the campaign, it was flighted in both traditional and digital media several more times, continuing to reverse the stigmatized narrative of addiction.

Montana DPHHS Stat - Over 9,000,000

Impressions on social media

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