Resonating with News Stories in Clinical Trials Facebook Ads

There’s no shortage of media stories relating to the medicines and healthcare field. This can provide a great opportunity for echoing the story within your Facebook Ads messaging, with the press and other media always being quick to jump on ‘the latest breakthroughs’ or updated advice from health authorities.

Here’s an overview of how I took advantage of 3 recent news stories that I realised would resonate with the potential audiences for various current clinical trials. Plus details of a method for finding relevant news items for this purpose.

Autism – a Superpower for Motorsport

A news item on the BBC TV news, plus a homepage feature on their extremely popular website – – highlighted how a 22 year old guy found his autism helped him develop a skill in motorsports. To the extent he eventually bought a Karting team which he now manages.

One of the trials currently being promoted is for autism in young people. So, with the news story featuring a group of young Go-Karters, it made sense to update some of the ads with stock images of young people driving round a Go-Kart track. The idea being to form some kind of subliminal connection in the minds of those parents browsing Facebook who had watched or read the news item.

Alzheimer’s & Dementia – Former Footballers at Risk

A few days after the autism story, a study was released by researchers from the University of Glasgow, that outlined how former professional footballers in Scotland had a much higher risk of dying from neurodegenerative conditions than would be expected for non-footballers. (

Not a big leap of connective thinking, then, to update some of the ads currently running for Alzheimer’s and dementia trials with images of people playing football. Again, aiming for some sort of resonance of thought from people who may have seen the news item and were subsequently browsing Facebook.

Treatment to Slow Down Alzheimer’s

And then the biggest news of all – the announcement by biotechnology company, Biogen, that their investigational drug, aducanumab, may help reduce the clinical decline of Alzheimer’s disease. (

In the UK, the BBC is still the most widely-used and respected source of news (whether through their regular TV and radio bulletins or at their website). To accompany their version of this story, they used an image depicting 2 ‘brain scans’ side by side. (The image being credited to Getty Images).

Adopting the same principles as for the other 2 news stories mentioned above, it wasn’t difficult to find a stock image that also features 2 ‘brain scans’ side by side (echoing the image from the BBC story). These images could then be used for updating some of the ads for another Alzheimer’s clinical trial campaign.

In order to further reinforce the subliminal connection between the ads and the news story, it also made sense to revise the wording within the ad copy to make it clear that people on clinical trials can potentially gain access to new treatments for Alzheimer’s. (Obviously staying within the text as approved by the ethics committee. also ensuring there was no mention of the name of any drugs within the ad or landing page – as this is not allowed by Facebook).

A Method for Finding Relevant News Items

The 3 stories mentioned above were featured quite prominently on various websites that I look at regularly for the purpose of finding relevant items I can use in this manner. But if you are looking to find stories about maybe less media-friendly conditions, or if there simply haven’t been any major updates reported in the main outlets recently, you’ll want to actively seek relevant information you might be able to use.

One method I would recommend for doing this is a simple Google News search.

Visit and type into the search bar a suitable term that is relevant for the trial you’re promoting. (eg Alzheimer’s, autism, psoriasis etc).

You’ll then be presented with a range of news items that Google has identified that fit with the search term you’ve used. From which you’ll be able to pick something suitable for generating some form of resonance among your target audience.

You can even setup a ‘Google Alert’ for your chosen search term that will email you with a digest of relevant stories as they come up.

Also, there are other news and content aggregator services outside of Google News and Google Alerts that you can use to find relevant content ideas – such as and – if you want to go more in-depth with your research.

Clinical Trials Facebook Ads Management

If you’d rather have someone else putting this sort of creativity of thought into optimising your patient recruitment Facebook Ads campaigns – get in touch for a quick chat about how I might be able to help.