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the Duke of Dryness.


If undetected, hyperosmolarity can cause all sorts of conditions, from dry eye disease to cornea damage and vision problems. To help ophthalmologists diagnose hyperosmolarity, TearLab developed a one-of-a-kind osmolarity test that provides a highly accurate osmolarity measurement in an easy-to-understand number. It’s like getting a cholesterol number for eye health.

The difficulty was ophthalmologists didn’t think they needed help diagnosing hyperosmolarity. They believed they could detect it just by looking at their patients’ physical symptoms, and many underestimated the impact hyperosmolarity could have on their patients’ eye health. So, testing for it seemed like an unnecessary extra step. We needed to seed self-doubt in how they felt about the condition and the best way to diagnose it to make using the test a standard part of their treatment plan.


Ophthalmologists, meet Mr. Hyperosmolarity.

GSW troublemaking villain out to sabotage surgical outcomes and patient's eye health, Mr. Hyperosmolarity began as a teaser campaign that was rolled out prior to a major industry convention where TearLab had a booth presence. We ran print ads, postcards, and direct mail with messages from Mr. Hyperosmolarity taunting healthcare professionals and alerting anyone who would listen of his intentions to undermine visual outcomes. TearLab signed off each piece with a message inviting their audience to visit the booth to learn more about how hyperosmolarity was not their friend. The night before the show, we placed a letter from Mr. Hyperosmolarity himself in every attendee’s hotel room complete with a bag of pretzels, his favorite salty snack, and his wish that each of them ended up with a dry, parched mouth. During the convention, we tweeted live updates from “Mr. H.”

At the booth, visitors were greeted with a life-sized cutout of Mr. Hyperosmolarity sitting below a video of looping messages. There were posters with messages from Mr. Hyperosmolarity displaying his derogatory opinion about the test. Attendees could meet the man himself through a video on iPads where Mr. H introduced himself and explained his plans to wreak havoc on eyes everywhere.

Mr. Hyperosmolarity continued to relentlessly torment ophthalmologists with an online campaign featuring several more videos and rich media ads, as well as print ads in ophthalmology journals.


With the rollout at the convention, the campaign helped put TearLab on the map. Attendees were buzzing about the letters they received, and turnout to the TearLab booth was excellent. Mr. Hyperosmolarity created a great new way for sales reps to talk about the condition with potential customers.

In the end, Mr. Hyperosmolarity was a bad guy who was actually doing a lot of good.


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