TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2016: quadruple victory for Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

The challenge

New product development can quite often be simplified to throwing a few tried and tested ingredients together into a new combination, wrapping the concoction in some flash packaging and sending it out to stores. And while there is always a high level of risk involved in releasing something to the market, the stakes are a bit higher when it comes to the medical device industry that Fisher & Paykel Healthcare operates in.

The healthcare industry is incredibly conservative about trying new things, and conventional wisdom dictates that a new product would normally take around 15 years to introduce to the market.

This is, of course, understandable, given a lot of harm can be done to patients by medical devices that don’t meet high standards of specialised healthcare. In this instance, this challenge was further exacerbated by the fact that the new product developed by Fisher & Paykel was designed to help the most vulnerable among us: babies and young children.

The response

The Optiflow Junior product was developed to improve the quality of respiratory care given to infants, who struggle to breath on their own. Until the release of this product, the ventilatory support provided to children was often quite restrictive, adversely impacting on their comfort in an important developmental phase of their lives.

Speaking about the previous methods of support in an explanatory video on the Fisher & Paykel website, nurse Mary King, the education lead at Rosie Hospital in the UK, observed: “We had some concerns around babies with sore noses. You could see quite often that they were quite uncomfortable.”

The Optiflow Junior product solved all these problems, but Fisher & Paykel still had to find a way to expedite its release to market.    

Fisher & Paykel invested heavily in research across the world to assure medical professionals that the product was safe. This was a mammoth effort that saw the mobilisation of vast numbers of people from around the world. The entire project was about educating the market and winning the trust of not only clinicians but also of mums and dads worried about their little ones.      

The results

Despite the high level of difficulty associated with the campaign, it was a massive success and resulted in outstanding revenue and sales growth for Fisher & Paykel Healthcare. Because of the ground-breaking work the organisation has done in the local market, the Junior Optiflow Junior product is now available in over 120 countries worldwide. And in addition to the financial rewards, those involved also take comfort from knowing that they have greatly improved the quality of life for children across the world. The future certainly looks healthy, not only for Fisher & Paykel but for all the kids who have benefitted from the company’s innovative product development and marketing. 


Insight/Technology/Export/Beauty & Healthcare



Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

Judge’s comment:

“F&P Healthcare found a credible way to shorten the biomedical device adoption curve, in a notoriously difficult sector, where common wisdom is that practice doesn’t easily change over a decade or more. They committed resources on a global scale to drive a programme of activity that directly executed on the insight they uncovered in ground breaking way. The success achieved from this insight has led to it being embedded as best practice across the company, and the wider industry. In a category with several worthy entries this one stood out above the rest for the sheer scale and connectedness of its insight – led execution.”

Finalists: Insight:  AA Smartfuel, Air New Zealand, API Consumer Brands NZ, ASB Bank, Auckland Transport, Canon New Zealand, Constellation Brands, DB Breweries (x2), Eat My Lunch, Endeavour Consumer Health. Fairfax Media NZ, Hansells Food Group, Health Promotion Agency, Heart Foundation, Lion, Loyalty New Zealand, Pacific Coilcoaters, Paralympics New Zealand, Safekids Aotearoa, Skycity Auckland, South Australian Tourism Commission, University of Waikato, Vodafone NZ, Westpac; Technology: ANZ New Zealand, Loyalty New Zealand; Export: Fisher & Paykel Healthcare; Beauty & Healthcare: Insight NZ & The Immunisation Advisory Centre  

  • This story first appeared in the Awards issue of NZ Marketing.
  • To read more on the TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2016, click here.

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