How 21n78e Creative Labs helped build awareness & affinity for Metropolis Healthcare

Case study by 21n78e Creative Labs for building Metropolis Healthcare as a trustworthy B2C brand, submitted under the category: ‘Best Brand Building Campaign – B2C’ for LI Content Marketing Awards 2017


The Client

Metropolis Healthcare is leading pathology specialist in India with over 3 decades of delivering the most accurate reports to help people get a true picture of their inner health. Metropolis Labs deliver over 30 million tests each year, caters to over 2,00,000 doctors, 20,000+ medical labs, hospitals and nursing homes. Metropolis Laboratories can be found in Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Kenya and Ghana.

The Metropolis motto is: “Integrity is in our veins. Empathy is in our blood. Accuracy is in our DNA. We are Metropolis. The Pathology Specialist.”

The Agency

21N78E Creative Labs is a full service communications & marketing solutions agency that leads with digital. Led by strategic consulting and aimed at engaging consumers through niche content & variable distribution models. From powerful insights, creativity that connects to technological inclusion, 21n78e looks at bridging that ever increasing gap between consumers and brands.

Problem Statement

Metropolis Labs is a well known and highly trusted and relied upon brand in the B2B segment, but not enough end customers are aware of Metropolis Labs and its USPs.

Identified Objectives

Given that Metropolis is the dependable and trusted partner for over 20,000+ labs and hospitals across India for routine and specialized tests for their patients, even 200,000 doctors and clinicians recommend  Metropolis for accurate testing and reports. However, the average end consumer getting a pathology test is typically less aware of the science and operations behind a blood report and more concerned with how much it costs and how convenient it is to get a test.

With every report scrutinized across 149 steps in the most scientifically advanced labs in India, and over 30 million tests being conducted every year, Metropolis couldn’t afford to play the price game.

Keeping these factors in mind, it became imperative for Metropolis edge and be seen by as many people as possible:

  1. Increasing awareness of the Metropolis brand
  2. Familiarizing people with its core value proposition and USPs
  3. Make Metropolis Labs the preferred choice for any pathology tests and preventive health care packages

The Strategy/Execution

Being a low involvement category, most people don’t think about pathology, their cholesterol levels or other inner health indicators unless recommended to by a doctor’s. Even health conscious people are rarely focused on their inner health, but rather more focused on external parameters.

Since pathology needs are different depending on a person’s life stage as well as environmental conditions, we had to segment our target audience to help ensure accurate, relevant and contextual messaging.

Equally importantly, it became imperative for Metropolis to highlight its core philosophy and brand strengths to differentiate from the competition. Especially since, to drive preference for Metropolis, it would be important to demonstrate the value proposition to also justify the difference in price.

The broad Segments:

  • Young Adults & Newly weds: Young 24-30 year olds who think they are too young to ever need to worry about their inner health
  • The Nuclear family: The modern new age family where working couples thrive under modern and corporate stresses
  • The big fat Indian family: The quintessential Indian joint-family, where everyone has a different need
  • Senior Citizens: Those with chronic ailments and needs that blur the lines between pathology and empathy
  • The “Catch-call” group: The general public who needed to realize the importance of having a trusted and accurate diagnostics partner

The Execution

Since the campaign was scheduled to live during the monsoons, it was strategically split in to two parts

  • Demonstrating the Metropolis Advantage – “Fight Fever Faster”
  • Highlighting The Metropolis Advantage, using our strongest advocates – The medical practitioners themselves

Be monsoon smart  & fight fever faster

The monsoon season is known for tea, bhajias and getting cosy indoors while it rains on the outside. It is also unfortunately known to bring a sharp increase of dengue, malaria and a host of other viral illnesses.

Metropolis, with its ‘Insta-detect’ technology and history of accurate reports, promised an accurate report within 3 hours at select centres.

The core communication for this part of the campaign was to ensure that people are made aware of Metropolis’ most accurate reports and a same-day report collection for Fever as a symptom… even on the first day.

metropolis Fight Fever - Outdoor Banner

To accomplish this the following media were utilized:

  • Bus-shelters at specific locations addressing the citizens of that area to #FightFeverFaster
  • Social Media
    1. Contest: Most people have their own unique ways of dealing with the monsoons. To channel their inner creative spirit, we ran a contest where we asked people to spell out what great or simple tricks they used to stay healthy during the monsoons. A simple format where they had to spell out 4 tricks using A for … – B for … C for … & D for …– we called the ‘ABCDs’ of being monsoon smart! (creatives attached)
    2. Paid: We utilized Facebook’s new Lead Ads to help generate interest and hand raisers for those who wanted to get a quick blood test done – all within the Facebook ecosystem. Leads were passed on to the Metropolis call-centre in near-real time for a quick TAT.
  • Display
    1. We Utilized search and display to help generate awareness of the 3 hour TAT for Metropolis reports while also allowing those who searched for fever or monsoon related ailments to be able to find the Metropolis offering
  • Radio:
    1. Engaging audiences by discussing the ABCDs of staying safe during the monsoons
    2. Spots that focused on educating listeners on the quick detect technology of Metropolis to get accurate reports on the first day of the symptoms
    3. Special properties that engaged users with ‘Health Tips’ and ‘Weather Updates’
  • SMS to select TG highlighting the benefits of #FightFeverFaster
  • A range of other tactical instruments such as Chemist-shop envelopes – to drive credibility and TOM – Garden Umbrellas and other BTL tools to help drive on-ground awareness.
  • And last, but not the least, a news paper ad that highlighted Metropolis’ USPs and the benefit to customers


While alerting people the benefits of a test on the first day of fever and a quick (3 hour TAT), Metropolis also focused on drawing attention to its strong suit – the partners and customers who’ve trusted us over the years. As over 2lac + doctors and 20000 + labs recommend us, we personified our evangelists to help drive home the core message i.e: Metropolis is a trusted partner, with the most accurate reports and caters to the varied needs of people across age-groups and life stages.

metropolis IRecommend - Family

To ensure we had maximum impact the following mediums were used:

  • Outdoor: Building credibility by showcasing our deep and strong relationship with our partners and medical practitioners
    1. Bus Shelters
    2. Hoardings
    3. Station Billboards

All places that would get high visibility

  • Display: Driving awareness through programmatic display, search as well as GDN
  • SMS to select TG that brought out the Metropolis Advantage
  • Social Media
    1. Driving leads and awareness through paid promotions
    2. Specific ads were also geo-targeted to areas that had the hoardings for better efficacy
  • Print & Radio – For mass awareness
  • BTL Activations – Umbrella activity across high footfall locations


In a country where 10 people die every minute as a result of some medical condition or another, the brand reached out to over 30 people a minute over the one month campaign duration. (Media agency calculation basis impressions, reach across touchpoints.) A single life saved as a result of this campaign would be considered a win!

Increasing Awareness & building engagement:

  • The digital campaign alone reached over 15 million people – Src: Media Agency Report
  • The outdoor and BTL campaign led to a Google search index of 100, compared to an average range of between 60-75 pre-campaign : Src – Google Trends
  • The social media activities garnered over 60k Engagements – Src; FB Reports

Business Impact:

The Tangibles: (Src: Client Business Data)

  • Sample testing workload increased by 12% compared to previous months
  • A sharp spike in the increase of in-bound calls (20% increase)
  • For fever related swine-flu tests, revenue saw an increase of 40%+
  • Home visits went up 90% from just 2 months before the campaign
  • A 15% increase in new customer acquisition during the period of the campaign
  • The campaign saw a 2x ROI – in this low awareness, very low initiative category

The Intangibles: (Src: WOM & One-on-one feedback)

  • Partners & medical practitioners reached out in appreciation of the campaign

Thereby alluding to an overall increase in the awareness and visibility of the brand.

Internal research with customers and walk-ins also showed our communication addressed their pain-points thereby building brand affinity across the board.


  • Splitting the campaign in to 2 parts; a Branding campaign, coupled with a tactical campaign to drive business; had a positive impact and rub off on each other.
  • Being such a low involvement category posed a significant challenge in terms of how people would accept the campaign, however customers were very receptive to the communication as it highlighted very important and critical issues whilst maintaining a healthy mix of brand communication to drive awareness and affinity.