November, 2016

…or how to educate about fake medicine with fake music stars

What’s the story

– Thousands of people die every year after taking counterfeit medicine bought on the street.

– The issue of fake medicine containing toxic ingredients and expired pills is particularly widespread in Africa.

– The Fondation Chirac, an advocacy foundation for peace started by former French President Jacques Chirac, wanted to help raise awareness about this issue, and leveraged the widespread appeal of music stars to do so.

“Who’s this guy? That’s not the real Fally”

-They aimed to demonstrate to locals the risks of using fake medicine by recruiting bogus pop stars to imitate top African musicians on both TV and radio.

– People were quick to catch onto the fake stars, and social media went crazy as more and more fans exposed the actors.

– Once thousands of people were talking about it, the prank was revealed to the public and the real music artists even helped explain the purpose of the campaign to their fans.


– In one month: > €450,000 earned media

– Use of the #LeMedicamentDeLaRueTue led to a 72% increase in fans on Foundation Chirac’s Facebook page

Why we liked it

– Pop stars in Africa have huge reach to fans and this stunt was a clever way of spreading an important health warning to as many people as possible.

– By featuring the fake stars on both TV and radio, this campaign allowed social media to take effect and help spread the message far and wide.

(Havas Paris; Africa)

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