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Phonak Hearing Systems Launches Industry's First Dual-Targeted Marketing Campaign

Phonak Takes Industry Leadership Role to Help Grow Category

WARRENVILLE, ILL - August 2003 -
Phonak Hearing Systems, the world leader in the development and manufacture of technologically-advanced hearing instruments, today launched its new consumer marketing campaign designed to meet the needs of two distinct groups of consumers. The campaign will reach out to both existing users of hearing aids to apprise them of the latest technological advancements, as well as that much larger and younger group of Americans who have a significant hearing loss but are currently not using hearing instruments.

Beginning August 2003, Phonak is launching the dual-targeted advertising and public relations campaign designed to educate the 50+ consumer on hearing loss and the solutions available, while concurrently reaching out to existing users on the latest technological advancements from Phonak. Elements of the campaign will include print ads in AARP, Good Housekeeping, Prevention, Reader's Digest, Rxemedy and American Legion as well as an education-focused public relations program utilizing a matte, video news release, and other media relations tactics.

As one of the country's most common chronic health conditions, over 28 million people suffer from hearing loss to some degree, yet only approximately 20% currently utilize hearing aids. For the good of the entire industry, Phonak spent resources analyzing the market to try to figure out who those 22.4 million non-users are, their perceptions and attitudes towards hearing instruments, and how to convince them that hearing aids can truly improve their quality of life.

"At Phonak, we know that the overall hearing instrument market is static; it simply isn't growing. Yet, we also know roughly 80% of Americans with hearing loss are not using any type of hearing instrument," said Laura Voll, Marketing Director at Phonak. "As such, we deduced that there is huge growth potential if we can target these people and educate them about the difference that an effective hearing solution can make in their relationships and in their lives."

A large part of this untapped market is that ubiquitous group advancing rapidly toward senior-hood, baby boomers. Yet, due to "elderly" stigmas associated with wearing hearing aids, lack of knowledge of the new and effective technology available, or simply limited education on how hearing loss actually develops, Phonak knew to reach this younger market, it would need to speak to this group in a non-traditional way.

"Someone who is already experiencing the benefits of wearing hearing aids will relate differently to an ad than a person who hasn't yet identified with their hearing loss or hasn't yet investigated the solutions available to them," said Voll. "To us, it just made sense to address these two different audiences with separate messages."

For more information about this new campaign, please visit www.phonak-us.com, or call Phonak customer service at 1-800-777-7333.

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