Corporate purpose

Fighting back against Covid myths and misinformation

Shortlisted: Best healthcare campaign
CovidComms Awards

Reckitt is unusual among companies in that, not content with a simple corporate purpose, the healthcare and hygiene business has also adopted a corporate fight to demonstrate its relentless pursuit of its goals.

So, it is not surprising that one of its first public fights was to battle the raft of misinformation on Covid-19 – a phenomenon that the World Health Organisation labelled an ‘infodemic’. Almost immediately on hearing of the virus, consumers across the globe were searching online sources for further information only to find a deluge of sites perpetuating misperceptions and myths.

Its concept for a fact-based, science-led website was brought to life in just two weeks. Determined that this was not a commercial enterprise, the site also did not carry Reckitt’s branding.

Reckitt worked with trusted health and hygiene expert sources to produce 90 myth-busting short-form articles in partnership with The Economist Intelligence Unit to launch the site. The articles, which were translated into 11 languages, covered a range of topics across diagnosis, symptoms, prevention and containment.

But simply creating a website does not guarantee traffic. Setting itself a target of one million views, Reckitt launched a global social media campaign on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Ads Network. But it also wanted to make sure that people spent time on the site once they had arrived, so it launched a series of innovations to drive better dwell.

It commissioned a series of ten short and punchy podcasts. These were hosted by journalist Tim Samuels, who presents the BBC’s wellness podcast All Hail Kale, and tackled myths and concerns, such as whether the coronavirus could be passed on during sex or whether it was possible to catch it from home deliveries.

A partnership with digital campaigners Action Button led to a series of interactive polls, which reached more than one million people, while using Facebook Instant Experiences brought the content direct to users.

Within six months of launch, the campaign had reached 45 million people. There had been more than 2.8 million unique visitors to the website, including one million people in India. Indeed, an analysis of the viewing figures revealed that between 60,000 and 120,000 people organically navigate to the website, which was also on the first page of many Google search results alongside the World Health Organisation.