Kleenex Sneezesafe Campaign - Mandate and Sneezesafe

Mandate Communications

A Campaign Not To Be Sneezed At

Fundamental to Kleenex's vision of being part in everyone's everywhere daily health routine, is communicating the importance of correct respiratory hygiene.

Mandate developed an educational programme to teach good respiratory hygiene in three simple steps to children aged 4-6 - an age when kids are most inclined to learn and take on good habits. It also corresponds with the time school curriculum deal with respiratory hygiene.

The programme was developed in a website format to teach children through fun and interactive games and stories.

The aim of the website

Convey campaign messages via a format stimulating to young children, especially at entry to primary school

Provide teachers and parents with a tool to bring to life and communicate the importance of a basic series of activities:

1.       Blowing your nose and catching a snooze or a cough in a tissue

2.       Throwing the tissue away

3.       Washing your hands

Encourage teachers to use the resource on respiratory hygiene in lessons

Meeting the needs of the target audience

Kleenex set out to help break the cold cycles and ease the burden on mums, with the aim of teaching children from the youngest age correct respiratory hygiene for life: effectively, to take responsibility for supporting parents and educators through a key stage in personal hygiene development alongside potty training and washing hands, “tissue training”.

Our strategy was to develop an educational, campaign-able and sustainable programme to enable us to reach our audiences both directly (through the website) and via media coverage, creating a strong foundation for a long term programme. In doing so, we developed links with the Department of Health at a time when it was reviewing its own respiratory hygiene campaign - now re-launched as “Catch it. Bin it. Kill it”.

Our aim was both to heighten the impact of our message to schools, to lend support to the Department of Health targeting children who would not be reached by its campaign, and above all, to ensure the correctness of our message from a national healthcare and public interest standpoint.

Throughout, the Kleenex brand was used subtly and with care, where it would add stature and kudos to Sneezesafe, but without overwhelming healthcare messages.

PR Campaign Tactics

We created www.sneezesafe.co.uk as a resource to primary schools, testing it with teachers and children in classes to ensure quality of its content, usability and approach. We also created two characters - Suki Sneeze and Nathan Noseblow - to bring the programme to life for children through a series if stories and games.

To launch the resource, we partnered with www.raisingkids.co.uk to generate research-based news angles from parents, on their attitudes and behaviours relating to respiratory hygiene.

The campaign was launched to teachers, via e-mailings in the autumn term of 2007 and a direct mail in January 2008, to school nurses via mailing to the School of Public Nurses Association (SAPHNA) database, editorial in the SAPHNA Journal and leaflets distributed at the SAPHNA conference and to parents via media coverage in parenting (print and on-line), regional and national media, a radio tour featuring Dr Pat Spungin or www.raisingkids.co.uk, as well as editorial on the Raising Kids website.

In addition, awareness for Sneezesafe was generated in store through the use of the logo on 15m packs of the biggest selling tissue in the UK, Kleenex Original, and a special in store display was created which highlighted the website's URL.


In our evaluation we found out that two thirds of all the schools that were targeted used the Sneezesafe website and just under half (44%) of teachers who visited the website used it to conduct a lesson. Through a questionnaire on a representative sample of teachers, 82% of teachers asked, who had not yet use the website, said they planned to do so in the future.

A big coup for Kleenex was in getting the DoH to support the development and launch of Sneezesafe - and continue to support Sneezesafe - through initiatives such as Healthy Schools Programme.

Against our target, we delivered a total ROI of just over 5.5:1, with 38 pieces of coverage including two articles in national newspapers, 25 regional pieces as well as editorials in national consumer and other specialist media. Sneezesafe also received endorsement from the School of Public Health Nurses Association (SAPHNA) and 240,000 children have been trained in health and tissue hygiene as a result of the campaign.

Mark Zander, Kleenex Marketing Manager for UK & Ireland, said: “In their work on Sneezesafe, Mandate has done a great job of engaging with the parents and teachers of children whom Sneezesafe is aimed at. This was a creative and strategic programme which made excellent use of tight resources to reach all audiences effectively, and actually help change our future consumer's behaviour.”

Monica Taylor, a teacher a Brook CP School in Ashford, Kent, said: “My reception class got a lot out of the resources and they provided a fun way for them to learn how to prevent germs from spreading. They loved the interactive website and some of their parents got involved by accessing the website from home to.”

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