Bayer's "The HeroSmiths" Campaign: The Rise of Common Heroes

Updated: Nov 18, 2021

In 2017, Bayer - a German multinational pharmaceutical and life sciences company, launched “The HeroSmiths” campaign to promote Bayer’s aspirin in the US. Run by Energy BBDO, “The HeroSmiths” campaign was based on the insight that taking aspirin after calling 911 can help increase the chance of survival during a heart attack.

The challenges

In the US, it is reported that heart attacks occur every 42 seconds and result in 114,000 deaths every year. However, it appears that not so many people are aware of their vulnerability.

Via this campaign, Bayer set out to:

  • increase awareness of aspirin’s life-saving benefits

  • increase intent to carry Bayer Aspirin

  • increase Bayer Aspirin’s visibility in culture

Strategy & Execution

Instead of trying to convince people to reconsider their risks, the campaign was shifting focus to call for everyday heroes to step up by carrying aspirin to help save themselves or somebody else from a suspected heart attack.

The campaign name was inspired by the fact that Smith is the most popular name in the US. Besides, Bayer chose Fort Smith, Arkansas as the target location for the campaign due to the connection to the name. The city is also known for having the highest rates of heart attacks in the country. The expected result is that “every Smith in Fort Smith is ready to help save lives.”

“The HeroSmiths" is a digital media campaign taking place on Facebook and the campaign landing page at

  • On Facebook, Bayer conveyed and promoted sequential messages via 3 types of content including videos, testimonials and educational content. They created a 2-minute film and several 30-second videos sharing the stories of the eight different Smiths who had experienced the life-saving power of aspirin against heart attacks. For each piece of content posted on Facebook, people would be directed to “The HeroSmiths” landing page

  • On, Bayer generated inspiring content, encouraging people to visit and take the pledge to get a $2 coupon for Bayer Aspirin and a keychain, which later serves as a case for easier aspirin carrying. Besides, shareable content on the landing page allows people to invite others to take the pledge and show how many lives they can potentially save by carrying Bayer Aspirin.

The results

Bayer’s “The HeroSmiths” campaign achieved huge success by meeting and even exceeding objectives, with impressive numbers:

  • 42,260,007 impressions on earned media

  • over 35,366 people taking the pledge to carry aspirin on

  • 387% more likely to recognize Bayer Aspirin as a trusted life-saving brand

  • 233% increase in brand love

The campaign also earned several prestigious awards at Cannes Lions Awards 2017.






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