With medical study participation at an all-time low, YavRx turned to Archrival for a strategy that would reduce their high recruitment costs. With a reputation for throwing epic parties, Archrival asked, “What if participating in a medical study was a fun experience that you did with your friends and family?”
Who wouldn’t volunteer to be part of a medical study if you thought you were actually attending a party with your closest friends?
Archrival was able to recruit more than 250 participants to volunteer (for free!) to be part of a medical study by disguising it as a Halloween party done in a “medical study gone wrong” theme. The twist? Most participants wouldn't even know they were part of an actual study (despite signing paperwork that showed it was, in fact, legitimate). By eliminating the standard participant payment structure and channeling money instead into entertainment costs, Archrival maxed out the study within the week. Study participants were asked to meet at an off-site location where they checked in and signed all the necessary paperwork before being separated into three different groups—each group based on the volunteer’s survey responses regarding their greatest fears. They then loaded into vans with blacked out windows and were taken to an undisclosed location where the tests were to be administered.
Once on site, each of the three test groups were given different doses of an experimental new drug, codename: YavRxMD. While the participants were told the pill was a “cure for fear”, in actuality, they were part of a double-blind study that monitored each participant’s reactions to varied dosages of the new drug to the following stimuli: darkness, enclosed spaces, and sudden or loud noises.
More than 300 people were in attendance for what is now being called the World’s First Medical “Experitainment" Study.
While standard practice for a study of this type would be to pay each participant between $1500 and $4500, Archrival was able to dramatically decrease the recruitment and participation costs even when taking into account the total entertainment costs. This new approach provided YavRx with a proof of concept that will allow them to alter their reimbursement model for future studies and likely attract an entirely new, more affluent clientele.