How COVID-19 made the Advertising Council change the course of its prediabetes campaign

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NEW YORK: In the first years of a prediabetes awareness campaign, the Ad Council and its partners used humor in their public service ads.

In 2016, a video featured three men sitting around a table eating spaghetti as the narrator says one in three adults has prediabetes.

“It means it could be you, your favorite brother, your other brother,” the ad continues.

After 20 months of upheaval due to the COVID-19 pandemic, those behind the campaign, launched in 2016, decided to take a more serious approach in their latest video.

“In the context of COVID, we just didn’t think the humor in the movie was going to work so well,” said Heidi Arthur, campaign development manager at Ad Council, a nonprofit advertising group.

The new video, which debuted on October 25, is set in an aquarium and shows a man taking a selfie in front of a shark aquarium. He notices that the window behind him has cracked.

“Life doesn’t always give you time to change the outcome,” the narrator warns. “Prediabetes does. “

The shark then smashes the glass as the narrator shares data on the prevalence of prediabetes and urges people to find out if they could have the disease by taking a minute to minute test. DoIHavePrediabetes.org

“With early diagnosis, prediabetes can be reversed,” the narrator continues as the glass and shark are put back into place.

The Advertising Council has developed Do I Have Prediabetes? campaign in partnership with the American Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which provided $ 1.2 million and $ 1.3 million respectively for the campaign.

CDC defines prediabetes as “a serious health problem in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes”.

In 2005, only about 7% of people with prediabetes knew they had it, according to a CDC report. Eighty-eight million American adults have the disease, agency’s latest report says The figures.

Arthur said the campaign has increased awareness of the disease.

Since its launch in January 2016, the campaign has received $ 141 million in media donations and 4.24 million unique visitors have visited the campaign’s website, according to the Ad Council.

Creative agencies Gray New York and Wordsworth + Booth volunteered on the campaign.

The spots, which were produced in English and Spanish, will appear in the given time and space nationally in TV, online video, print, radio, outdoor and digital banners, with major media. data provided by Facebook and YouTube, the release states.

Arthur said the creatives had also taken a more serious approach because people with chronic conditions such as diabetes were at greater risk of COVID-19. Almost 40% of deaths from COVID-19 were people with diabetes in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia, according to a Reuters report.

“We don’t want to overwhelm people; we don’t want to blame them and wag our fingers, ”Arthur said. “We want them to relate to it, to see themselves personally in danger and found out this year that for the film and the message itself, we need to reinforce the sense of urgency.”


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