top of page

Philips Breathless Choir Campaign

The "Breathless Choir" campaign by Philips is a remarkable case study that not only touched the lives of patients with respiratory issues but also transformed the way people perceive the Philips brand. This innovative and meaningful campaign, which enabled patients to use their voices in ways they had never imagined, helped Philips win the Grand Prix for Pharmaceuticals in 2016. In this article, we'll delve into the details of this campaign, its context, objectives, insights, strategies, and impressive results.


Philips, primarily known as a consumer electronics company, was expanding its business into the healthcare sector. However, consumers still associated Philips solely with products like televisions. To change this perception, Philips aimed to become a world leader in medical devices. The challenge was to highlight Philips' innovation in healthcare through the media.

Philips Respironics aimed to lead the market in portable oxygen concentrators (POC) for respiratory patients, who often felt trapped by their conditions. They needed to persuade various stakeholders - hospitals, healthcare professionals, doctors, insurance companies, sales representatives, patient groups, and respiratory patients - of the effectiveness of the Philips SimplyGo POC. Philips also aimed to stand out in a highly competitive market with a compelling narrative.


  • Business Objectives: Achieve rapid growth in POC device sales (over 10%) in Q1 2016.

  • Marketing Objectives: Establish a leadership position in the POC device market.

  • Communication Objectives:

Increase the trend of selling SimplyGo POC devices in the Durable Medical Equipment (DME) channel.

Improve Net Promoter Score (NPS) among DMEs to encourage them to promote the product.

Change brand perception among healthcare professionals and patients with respiratory issues, emphasizing innovation.


Respiratory patients often feel imprisoned by their conditions, hindering their daily lives and activities.


Drawing from Philips' belief that there's "always a way to make life better," the campaign aimed to show how Philips' medical devices could improve lives. Instead of focusing on device features, the campaign highlighted the empowerment these devices provided to respiratory patients.

The POC market was primarily focused on features, which didn't resonate with healthcare professionals and DMEs. Philips sought to create a compelling narrative that showcased how these devices improved the quality of life for patients.

The campaign aimed to:

  • Position Philips as a leading medical device manufacturer.

  • Build a shared understanding of Philips within the fragmented U.S. healthcare system.

  • Provide DME representatives with a compelling story to sell the product to clinicians.

  • Remind healthcare professionals of their initial reason for entering the healthcare field - to make a meaningful difference.

  • Generate support and word-of-mouth about the device within the respiratory patient community.

Creative Idea

Philips SimplyGo makes the lives of respiratory patients better by giving them independence.


With the support of renowned conductor Gareth Malone, 18 respiratory patients were trained to do the seemingly impossible - sing. These individuals had a significant social media following to maximize the campaign's reach and a strong desire to overcome their condition by rediscovering their voices.

Gareth Malone adapted The Police's "Every Breath You Take" to match each patient's singing abilities. In just five days, the Breathless Choir overcame breathing difficulties, conquered fear, and performed at the iconic Apollo Theater in New York.

Content Video

The video was released on "World COPD Day" on November 18, 2015, and featured the Breathless Choir's special performance in New York.

Social Media

The video was broadcast in the UK and the U.S. through channels with substantial coverage, such as The New York Times. Additionally, the video was shared on social media platforms like YouTube, Unruly, Philips' digital channels, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


Business Results:

  • Philips Respironics' revenue from POC devices increased by 31% in Q1 2016, exceeding the 10% business target. Sales volume increased by 25%.

Marketing Results:

  • Philips became the market leader in POC devices, surpassing Inogen.

  • Philips generated $10.6 billion in revenue from POC devices in Q1, while Inogen reached $8.9 billion.

Communication Results:

  • 51% of DMEs said they would distribute more SimplyGo devices in the next year, while only 8% said they would distribute fewer.

  • Customer satisfaction, as measured by NPS, increased by 11%, particularly among DME employees.

The campaign gained support from major healthcare organizations, including the American Lung Association and The Lancet Medical Journal. In post-campaign surveys, 86% (UK) and 89% (U.S.) of respiratory specialists and healthcare leaders recognized Philips as a pioneering healthcare brand.

The Breathless Choir video garnered 15 million views and had a share rate of 20%. It also generated significant support on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook among the respiratory patient community.

Website traffic to Philips increased by 97%, with visitors spending an average of 17 minutes on the site, and the campaign generated an impressive 650 million impressions.

In conclusion, the "Breathless Choir" campaign not only achieved its objectives but also highlighted the power of meaningful storytelling in transforming brand perception and driving business success. Philips' journey from a consumer electronics giant to a healthcare leader is a testament to the impact of creative and purpose-driven marketing.


bottom of page