How to create an appealing health pop-up clinic


It’s August 2016 and a traveling pop-up health check clinic is making its way across UK shopping centres. At every centre, shoppers can pop in and do a simple eye pressure and blood pressure check for free. By the end of the pop-up tour, 768 shoppers had participated.

This is City University of London’s innovative study on health disparities across communities. The hypothesis is that the measurable ‘unhealthiness’ of shopping centres is related to the number of high blood pressure or eye pressure cases. And that’s exactly what the study found. Shoppers from ‘unhealthy’ shopping centres were 72% more likely to have high blood pressure than someone from a ‘healthy’ area.

It was a fascinating study with close collaboration between multiple stake-holders. We are delighted to have been part of the collaboration. And even more delighted that Laura Edwards and the Crabb Labb team have published their paper.

Here’s how we worked to create appeal and engaging content for the pop-up clinic.

Need for engagement – the objective

Pop-up engagement was a key objective. The whole team invested time and effort in stepping into their audience’s shoes to engage with shoppers in England’s healthiest and unhealthiest high streets.

Our insights:

  • Blood pressure and eye pressure are difficult concepts for people with low health literacy to understand and engage with
  • We assumed that people on unhealthy high streets had low general literacy and health literacy and that English may not be their first language – the pop-up had to be appealing to all shoppers
  • The pop-up shouldn’t look like a clinical study, doctor’s surgery or an optometrist’s shop
  • People would be wary of street sellers, charity workers and people who approach on the street

From these insights we created a communications brief, visual identity and explainer materials.

Feeling the Pressure – the campaign idea

With a laser-focus on engagement the ‘Feeling the pressure’ campaign was created. The campaign idea brought together blood and eye pressure together with a simple question ‘Feeling the pressure?’. This concept was presented to collaborators and refined in line with their guidance.

During the actual study, the ‘feeling the pressure?’ hook generated curiosity amongst shoppers and was an empathic conversation starter. It encouraged them to find out more. But ultimately it was down to the skill of the pop-up staff to convert interest to testing.

Executing the campaign – special creative considerations

  • Colour, font and layout were carefully designed to support adults with low health literacy using simple infographics.
  • We used very simple language, avoiding or explaining technical terms.
  • We aimed for a Gunning Fog Test score goal of 8, recognising that the presence of technical terms may drive it to 10. Anything above this was too high. Jargon was removed or explained.

It was an amazing process to be part of the collaborative team and to apply our time, talent and audience shoes approach to do something that can genuinely make a difference.


City University of London

College of Optometrists UK

Crabb Lab Research

International Glaucoma Association

Blue Dog