Case study: How MSD took the omnichannel route to get India's youth to talk about sexual health openly

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Over a period of three months, MSD's #DontGetCaught campaign explored various channels and used poetry as a medium to promote and spread awareness about HPV. Here's how it unfolded.

The Case study takes a look into how, through the #DontGetCaught campaign, MSD and Schbang educated India’s youth on sexual health and wellness and particularly made them aware of HPV and HPV-related cancers.

Category Introduction

Indian pharmaceutical sector supplies over 50% of the global demand for various vaccines, 40% of generic demand in the US and 25% of all medicine in the UK. The domestic pharmaceutical industry includes a network of 3,000 drug companies and 10,500 manufacturing units. India enjoys an important position in the global pharmaceuticals sector. 

Brand Introduction 

MSD, known as Merck in the United States and Canada, aims to use science to improve lives around the world. For more than 130 years, MSD has brought hope to humanity through the development of important medicines and vaccines. Through the HPV disease awareness program, MSD India is educating young adults about the prevention and HPV-related cancers.


Created and conceptualised by Schbang, the campaign #DontGetCaught is an omnichannel campaign executed over a period of three months. With an aim to open up the conversation of sexual health and wellness among India’s youth, the campaign created awareness about Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and its prevention.  It has also encouraged India’s youth to openly discuss issues of sexual health.

The campaign was launched with a video starring Sayani Gupta, Bani J, and Raja Kumari. The film used the poetic medium of spoken word to communicate the taboos that exist in Indian society and encourage young adults to break past them.

Schbang created the website which gave the audience detailed information on HPV and most importantly, provided access to an expert. To drive more youngsters to the website, the campaign collaborated with celebrities like Huma Qureshi, Radhika Apte and Kubbra Sait.


Through the #DontGetCaught campaign, the brand wanted to educate India’s youth on sexual health and wellness and particularly make them aware of HPV and HPV-related cancers.

HPV is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause cervical and other cancers. In India, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women. Nearly one individual loses their life due to HPV-related cancers every 5 minutes in India. However, discussions of sexual activity and sexually transmitted infections and their prevention remain taboo in Indian society.


The team was told to come up with a campaign that destigmatizes HPV and makes people aware of the risks that are associated with it, along with the preventive measures against HPV.

Creative Idea

India is one of the most sexually active countries in the world, as per a report. However, the lack of normalisation of sex education leads to high levels of unawareness among the world’s largest population. Due to the stigma associated with it, many Indians do not seek medical help for sexual health problems and are unaware of preventative care.

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Using the spoken word as an instrument and collaborating with outspoken celebrities and influencers normalised conversations of sexual health and wellness while addressing the prejudice that exists in society.  


The challenge at hand was to educate the user and make them aware of HPV along with its prevention measures. It also pushed them to want to read more about HPV.


The campaign was executed in two phases.

For Phase 1
, the objective was to make people aware of HPV and read up more about it. It started off with a pre-buzz by roping in multiple influencers.

The campaign was kept Instagram-centric with multiple collaborations.

For Phase 2, the objective was to drive people to the website and talk to an expert. For this, the brand created hero assets and collaborated with celebrities like Huma Qureshi, Radhika Apte and Kubbra Sait.

The campaign also collaborated with micro-influencers and content portals like Vitamin Stree, She The People and We Are Yuvaa.


The brand was able to garner 5x more impressions and 2x more reach than estimated numbers. The brand's CTR also shot up by 10% more than estimated goal. The campaign also raised awareness about HPV, with a significant increase in knowledge and understanding among young adult females.

Rehan A. Khan, Managing Director, MSD India Region said, “Launching this campaign is an important step towards advancing our mission of building a healthy young India by reducing the disease burden of HPV-related cancers and disease in our country. Our goal is to increase public awareness with this campaign.”

Akshay Gurnani, CEO and Co-Founder, Schbang said, "We knew that breaking the taboo around HPV is crucial for promoting awareness and taking action towards prevention. That's why we carefully selected influential and vocal individuals to be the faces of our campaign. We carefully identified touchpoints where our target audiences consume content & where the messaging would get noticed, thus truly helping in breaking the taboo around this seldom-spoken topic. Our campaign was designed to encourage open and honest conversations about HPV, and we hope to continue raising awareness and promoting prevention through our digital efforts."

Social media influencer Digital Marketing schbang MSD Omnichannel #DontGetCaught hpv sexual health