Updated: Oct 26, 2021
The Challenge: When the shelter-in-place order was issued in Chicago in March 2020, dentists were among those forced to close for non-emergency situations to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Research showed this had an impact on the public’s perception of dental offices – a survey showed 58% of patients were concerned about contracting COVID-19 at the dental office. When dental offices were allowed to reopen in early May, the #SafeSmiles campaign was quickly conceptualized, built and launched to accomplish several objectives: untangle the misconception that dental offices are unsafe, emphasize that dentists are well-trained infection control experts, encourage patients to continue routine dental appointments and support CDS member dentists through reopening.
The #SafeSmiles campaign featured a multi-pronged strategic approach to deliver messaging on oral health and dental office safety through paid, owned and earned communications channels. The campaign included supplemental internal communications support for CDS members and assets to support word-of-mouth marketing in their offices.
The Results: The nine-month campaign delivered key messaging to nearly 300 million individuals, encouraging approximately 26,000 people to seek additional information about dental office safety, the connection between oral health and overall health and to search for a dental care provider.
Between June 17, 2020, and February 28, 2021, digital advertising reached 2.9 million people and secured more than 26,000 clicks and nearly 6,700 conversions (with more than 200 people taking an additional step to contact a local dentist). The campaign drove 194 media placements, totaling 297 million impressions. 99% of the coverage included at least one primary campaign message (highlighting enhanced safety measures and/or addressing the connection between oral and overall health).