CASE STUDY: GlaxoSmithKline

Client: GlaxoSmithKline  |  Brand: Os-Cal

caseStudyDownloadAbout the client: GSK is a consumer healthcare company with many internationally recognized brands such as Alli, Tums, Aquafresh and Os‐Cal, as well as prescription products and vaccines.


The Soaring Spirits book cover and an inside page spreadThe Os‐Cal brand produced an inspiring coffee table book about women living a healthy, active life titled: Soaring Spirits: The Female Quest for Vitality and Victory. The book featured women who had participated in the Senior Olympic Games and shared their stories of inspiration. The book was brought to life with beautiful black and white photography of the athletes and the introduction was written by Peggy Flemming, former Olympic Gold‐winning figure skater. The book was motivational and reminded women it was never too late to get active or start taking care of their health. These topics reinforced the mission of Os‐Cal and GSK, and the book was lightly branded with Os‐Cal messaging to keep the message less commercial and more inspirational.

Brand managers from Os‐Cal explained that they were frustrated with their current agency’s ability to promote and distribute the book to the target audience of women between 50‐65 years of age. They had printed 10,000 books but had only distributed about 2000 copies. They knew getting these books into the hands of their target audience would help promote a healthy active lifestyle while introducing the Os‐Cal brand to new customers in a positive light. They just were unable to accomplish their goal with their existing partners.


Electronic Art assembled a creative team to brainstorm concepts for Os‐Cal and produced several ideas. The concept that really intrigued Os‐Cal was titled “Six Degrees of Inspiration”, which used consumer advocates to help share the book and their own stories of inspiration with friends and family. Each advocate would receive a welcome packet which included two copies of the book, one for keeping and one for sharing with a loved one. That recipient could go online to share their story of inspiration and see who had the book before them as well as read their story. They would then be prompted to pass the book on to someone they cared about, and order a free book to keep for themselves online.

The Soaring Spirits booth at the 2007 Senior Games in Louisville, KYThe “Six Degrees of Inspiration” program was inspired by the “Where’s George” campaign which tracks where money travels. To track the books for Os‐Cal, each had an interior label with a serial number and each time the book was registered online, it would add another person, story and location to the book’s network. Each person in that books lineage of sharing would be able to see a dynamic Google map of where the book had traveled and the stories of people they inspired, many of whom they may not even know. The overall result showed how an act of kindness can affect many lives in ways one can’t imagine.

The website was the core component after the books themselves, it housed a central database of registered books, stories and locations. An additional component was event marketing and the use of kiosks to promote the program and register books. The first such event was the 2007 Senior Games in Louisville Kentucky where all of the participants in the senior games were given a copy of the book as part of a gift packet. At the show exposition, Os‐Cal had a large booth with photo posters of images from the book and interactive kiosks provided by Electronic Art. The kiosks allowed guests to immediately register and share their stories immediately while they were inspired to act. Also at the booth, Os‐Cal representatives offered bone density scans to educate women on bone health and to introduce the benefits of Os‐Cal as a calcium supplement. The kiosks replaced a paper system and allowed for immediate use of the data collected, saving time and money for Os‐Cal.


accepting the award at the fifth annual GSK Multicultural Marketing and Diversity AwardsThousands of people participated in the program and shared their stories online and at the kiosks during events. Os‐Cal distributed all of their books and had to print a new batch of books to fill demand. The “Six Degrees of Inspiration” program won awards from the fifth annual GSK Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Awards. Internal and external judging teams chose the winning entries based on business impact, innovation, transferability, and sustainability. Electronic Art’s idea helped Os‐Cal towards a banner year in sales and market growth as part of an overall brand strategy that included more inventive programs that extended the reach of the brand and influence with a more purpose driven message.

Electronic Art conceived of the program and worked with the Os‐Cal brand team to create a complete plan involving several partners and agencies. We designed the book labels, the website and kiosk applications. Our staff also built the story sharing technology and databases while hosting these dynamic portions of the web site. Our role also assisted the fulfillment team members with integrating their ordering tools, the event marketing company in creating the event kiosk and the internal IT department in integration with their existing applications vital to measurement and ongoing data warehousing.

The site: is no longer an active campaign by GSK.