The Heart Truth hosts its annual Red Dress Collection Fashion Show during New York’s Fashion Week each February to warn women of their number-one killer. The show is always a huge success with thousands of attendees, many notable celebrities, media personalities and fashion designers, and the event gets a boost with the effective use of branding elements.
The Heart Truth created and introduced the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness in 2002, and each year at the fashion show, the hype and enthusiasm is tangible.
Diet Coke sponsored the show, and its national promotional partner provided the branding. Banners and signs displaying the brand’s support of the Heart Truth could be seen throughout the venue, complete with spokespeople and reporters, all donning their brightest red garments.
Brochures, pamphlets and other educational materials were handed out to attendees as well as the iconic Red Dress pin. According to Mariana Eberle-Blaylock, account director of social marketing at Ogilvy Washington, the Red Dress pin has become the organization’s staple promotional product throughout the years.
“We give away pins at different campaigns year-round, but the fashion show is a big night for us,” Eberle-Blaylock says. “Each attendee gets a Red Dress pin and we always secure it to a postcard that lists facts and messages about heart disease. We change the messages to fit our audiences because every race faces different risks.”
Eberle-Blaylock notes that they translate all the materials into Spanish (heart disease hits Hispanic women especially hard). “The message is always customized to the audience, but the colors and symbols are the same in order to keep our Heart Truth brand consistent,” she says.
Show attendees also received goodie bags of Diet Coke-branded products including a notebook, a straw and a bottle of the famous carbonated soft drink designed specifically for its partnership with the Heart Truth.
Although February is donned Heart Health Month, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute outreach continues throughout the year with social marketing campaigns and events. Red Dress pins, DVDs, cookbooks, fact sheets, posters and other marketing materials are distributed to communities worldwide and the organization grows every year with new partnerships and campaigns.