Novartis: Diabetes, Hypoglycaemia & Healthy Fasting

During the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, many brands seek to create PR news in a bid to take advantage of increased consumerism and shopping patterns. Last year, Southeast Asia saw a 52% online sales uplift during Ramadan. Consumers spend big as they shop for festive necessities (the two hottest search topics are grocery promotions and travel bookings) and for gifts for family. Like other festive days, Eid-al-Fitr marks a spike in purchases.

Knowing the marketing opportunities during Ramadan, global pharmaceutical company Novartis realized the potential for driving expert conversation on a topic of concern to fasting Muslims as a way to engage with their audience.

Chiming in to the Ramadan conversation, Novartis decided to take a healthcare angle to the Ramadan conversation. The issue of healthy fasting and sugar levels affects many Muslims during Ramadan. Induced by long hours of fasting, some experience symptoms of low sugar levels while diabetic patients have to watch theirs when breaking fast. Sugar intake management was therefore the PR angle for Novartis’ Ramadan marketing drive.

ROOTS PR organized a Ramadan & Hypoglycemia Educational Workshop for the media, touching on hypoglycemia and diabetes. It was hosted by two medical professionals and a Muslim diabetic patient.

Representatives from 6 media publications attended the workshop, and a separate post-event radio interview was arranged with BFM’s Health & Living show.

The story was picked up by 10 major media publications serving a Muslim majority audience. Total PR value was worth nearly RM700,000. The interview with BFM garnered good coverage post-event.

Novartis was able to stay relevant and stay top-of-mind for consumers during the busy Ramadan period.