Orasure Technologies CASE STUDY

OraSure Technologies is a leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of oral fluid diagnostic and collection devices and other technologies designed to detect or diagnose critical medical conditions.


Years ago, OraSure Technologies developed the world's first oral-based illicit-drug testing methodology. At the time, they were looking to introduce the new product, called "Intercept," in the U.S., and we were called in to handle creative for the initial launch.


Senior HR executives at major U.S. companies (as well as large correctional institutions and the U.S. government) were considered the lowest-hanging fruit – places where employees or prisoners were routinely tested for drugs – and at least one major win was needed to gain the traction needed for a sustained effort. Our job was to get that win.


We opted to concentrate on the HR execs. To get their attention in a memorable way, we decided to solve a problem they didn't know they had: "what to do with all those urine specimen cups?"  Since Intercept was a saliva/swab-based methodology – and quicker, cleaner and harder to fool – the days of peeing in a cup were gone, making urine specimen cups obsolete. Yet most companies had boxes and boxes of disposable urine specimen cups in back rooms, so what to do?


We came up with 100 uses for obsolete specimen cups and illustrated each one in a little brochure. (Golf tees, birdhouses, bug catchers, Jello molds and so on.) We then stuck the brochure in a box (so it popped in the mail and begged to be opened) along with an actual pee cup already fitted out as a guppy bowl. We outlined all the reasons why Intercept was so much better than asking employees to pee in a cup, and all the savings involved, and then we sweetened the deal with a little contest: come up with the 101st way to use an obsolete specimen cup and win $500. We then followed up on our mailer with a fun postcard campaign to remind prospects, and bolstered the campaign with trade ads and a PR component that explained the new science in detail.


The response rate to our direct mail was 17%. One of the responses was from Kroger (K-Mart), which within 90 days became the largest account OraSure had. Kroger put them on the map and gave them the legitimacy they needed to approach other large companies.