Osteoarthritis Awareness Campaign


Novartis Animal Health

Campaigns, Content, Email, Print, Web

Signal developed a unique multi-channel program to help Novartis Animal Health promote veterinary visits. The campaign was built around a set of unbranded consumer-facing marketing tools to educate pet owners on recognizing and treating osteoarthritis in aging dogs. Signal developed an internal microsite enabling the company’s sales force to order customized materials for their veterinary accounts. We integrated the Pressero hosted web-to-print application to enable the customization functionality and order fulfillment.


Novartis Animal Health is a leader in developing new and better ways to prevent and treat diseases in pets, farm animals and farmed fish.

For several years, the veterinary industry had been experiencing a general decline in pet owners bringing their aging dogs to clinics for preventive treatments. As a result, Novartis Animal Health set out to reverse this trend by educating pet owners on the warning signs of Osteoarthritis (OA), the most common form of canine arthritis.

Even though it is a chronic disease, effective medications such as Novartis’ Deramaxx and lifestyle changes help manage it and ease suffering.

Novartis partnered with Signal on a multi-channel awareness campaign.


Signal’s strategy included creating unbranded consumer-facing marketing tools for the Novartis sales force to distribute to veterinary practices.

Focus Group

To gain invaluable insight, Signal held a focus group of dog owners at a veterinary clinic. The discussion covered pet demographics, top-of-mind issues related to pet health, how owners gather information, frequency and depth of relationship with their veterinarian and emotional triggers to improved and extended lives for their pets.

Campaign Theme and Imagery

Using what was gleaned from the focus group, Signal developed the campaign theme and tagline: Make Your Dog’s Older Years Better Years: Learn the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

The awareness campaign would promote the fact that OA is one of the most common and preventative ailments in dogs. Signal’s creative team featured pictures of Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds in the marketing materials. These are among the most popular breeds in the US and also those commonly affected with OA. In addition, background imagery was created using paw prints, tennis balls and silhouettes of dogs running and playing.

Campaign Components

Signal created a strategic campaign that would establish awareness of osteoarthritis issues by delivering consistent messaging to the existing clients of veterinary practices through multiple communication channels.

Signal developed campaign “starter kits” for Novartis account managers and veterinary practices. The objectives of the campaign were outlined along with information on how all the various components of the campaign would work.

Campaign promotional tools included direct mailers, in-office posters, flyers and email templates.

Internal Web Portal for Novartis Account Managers

To facilitate the distribution of the marketing materials, Signal developed a Program Implementation Portal (internal web portal) for Novartis.

The portal’s integrated Pressero “web-to-print” application enabled Novartis account managers to customize marketing materials. All printing and order fulfillment was then handled by Novartis’ in-house team.


  • Novartis account managers utilized the microsite to create customized materials for over 1,000 key accounts (vet clinics).
  • Campaign resulted in a 20% year-over-year increase in prescriptions for Deramaxx.
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