The March of Dimes and Clear Channel Campaign To Educate the Public About Premature Babies
The problem of premature babies costs our society nearly $26 billion annually and who knows the long-term consequences of babies that arrive before their time? Suffice it to say that it is a serious health care problem and one of the top issues on the radar screen of the March of Dimes (MOD). To alert the public about the problem – MOD launched a national radio PSA which was co-sponsored by Clear Channel Radio Network.
The goal of the campaign with a theme: Every Baby Has a Story was to drive traffic to a special website where visitors could participate in a variety of ways ranging from telling their own story about premature infant births to purchasing a tile in a photo mosaic. To reach the target audiences three PSAs each in :15/:30 and :60 lengths were produced for Urban, Adult Contemporary, Men and Spanish audiences.
To maximize Clear Channel support, we created two versions of our radio PSA package – one with their endorsement on the cover and one without. The one with the Clear Channel endorsement was sent to 950 of their affiliate stations across the country. The plain version was distributed to 4,800 radio stations
To involve local MOD chapters in the campaign we created a website that would permit the MOD chapters to listen to the PSAs, access the distribution lists by state and see evaluation reports. By clicking on a U.S. map, local chapters could see where the PSAs were distributed in their state.
Finally, to promote the campaign we wanted a technique that went beyond
a traditional blast email effort that probably would be regarded by most
people as spam. At the same time we wanted to educate both the media and
vertical audiences on the issue of premature births. The technique we
developed is what we call an EmailGram. It was sent to 50 state broadcast
associations, to the Radio Advertising Bureau, and to more than a dozen
websites reaching the campaign’s primary audiences. While our task
for this particular campaign was to distribute to radio only, recipients
of the EmailGram could also see March of Dimes TV PSAs to enrich the user
experience and create viral marketing. By clicking on the following link
you will see what it looks like: http://www.clickforhelp.com/artwork/GoodCausesPremature/
To improve evaluation accuracy and coverage, we enlisted an electronic monitoring service to track MOD radio PSA usage on 2,500 top market stations. Since that did not provide universal coverage, we also used the traditional bounce-back card to track usage.
To provide a way for state chapters to see the exposure in their state, we created an interactive map. By rolling their mouse cursor over the state, usage data appears on their screen. The entire country is also coded with different colors to show usage data by ranges.
Over two two thirds (69%) of all usage was in the top 100 where two thirds of all the U.S. population resides. Almost half came from usage in the top ten markets with 30 percent of the U.S. population.
In summary, largely due to excellent production values, a solid distribution strategy, a great cause and creative flexibility, the MOD is the most successful radio campaign in our 25 year history. It generated just under 70,000 airplays, 48MM Gross Impressions and $2.5MM in value. The MOD radio campaign outperformed the most successful benchmark by 21%.