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Healthy Lungs for Life

Healthy Lungs for Life


About this initiative

A growing body of evidence shows the negative impact of London’s air pollution on our lungs. With the European Respiratory Society’s annual medical congress in town, the challenge for MKTG was to create a legacy event that demonstrated the Mayor of London’s commitment to building healthier communities and raise awareness of this health issued in the capital. MKTG’s response was to build 3 ‘clean air bubbles’ in London’s most polluted tourist destination, Trafalgar Square, within which the public could be educated on how to manage their lung health outside, in the workplace and at home.

The United Nations describes indoor and ambient air pollution as “the greatest environmental health risk”. Outdoor air pollution from traffic, industrial sources, waste burning or residential fuel combustion resulted in an estimated 3 million deaths in 2016. That’s why a target to substantially reduce deaths as a result of air pollution is part of SDG 3 Good health and well-being in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


MKTG’s Urban Partnerships team were well positioned to achieve the government objectives of improving lung health across London’s communities, through their strong relationships with local councils. We were able to unlock additional funding from NHS professionals, local government transport and health departments by working in collaboration with these service teams, maximising the number of communities the project impacted across the capital by delivering a wider healthcare roadshow. 

Our aim was to raise awareness of how lifestyle can impact lung health by encouraging the public to have their lungs tested with professional health recommendations as a call to action. Trained healthcare professionals provided advice on respiratory disease and prevention and carried out 3000 lung function tests over 2 days, exceeding last year’s total by 300%. To engage younger audiences, we created an air pollution ‘edutainment’ mobile game/app, as research had shown great engagement through gaming.  After tests, those with any underlying conditions were directed to a consultation to discuss their results with a doctor and provided with a GP referral letter



The Healthy Lungs for Life experience was then condensed into a smaller bubble and delivered in partnership to 6 selected local governments.  We used data heat maps to identify London boroughs suffering from the poorest air quality, and targeted key decision-makers within those constituencies to secure government buy-in for a healthcare roadshow.

MKTG also facilitated an outdoor campaign with sister agency Posterscope to target Londoners and attendees of the congress across the underground, overground rail and airports to create an integrated campaign. The team leveraged relationships with public sector healthcare and environmental professionals to raise the profile of the campaign and secure funding for the roadshow.


The campaign delivered on all its key objectives. From a press coverage point of view, MKTG secured international coverage across 5 radio stations including BBC World service, TV segments on London Live and BBC World, national coverage in print including The Times, The Sun, Daily Mail and Evening Standard, Express and the Mirror. As a result its broadcast reach was 25.2m, print reach 10.8m, online reach 1bn and outdoor national reach of 26m impacts.


The Mayor of London officially endorsed the campaign and campaign creative with their logo. The team recently carried out the same event in partnership with Transport for Greater Manchester, to support National Clean Air Day. This year’s congress takes place in Milan with MKTG Italy as the delivery partner.