Keeping Our Youth Safe And Healthy – The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)

The following three campaigns were produced by August/Lang & Husak, the ad agency we often partner with.

Sedentary Lifestyle Campaign

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons retained Goodwill Communications to distribute and evaluate several national multi-media PSA campaigns to encourage Americans to adopt a more active lifestyle.

Like many other campaigns we have distributed, this campaign had a dual audience – children and teens, as well as adult influencers – coaches, parents, physicians. The incidence of childhood obesity is particularly acute, as these alarming statistics indicate:

  • Only one in four American school children gets an adequate amount of physical activity each day
  • The number of overweight children is rising at an alarming rate, with 13 percent of 6-11 year olds considered obese. Children who fail to engage in regular physical activity are at greater risk of obesity
  • Researchers, who studied the physical activity of 133 children over a three week period, discovered the obese children were 35% less active on school days and 65% less active on weekends compared to non-obese children

The first TV PSA Sedentary campaign we distributed for AAOS encouraged kids to maintain a more active lifestyle. In humorous scenes, the PSA shows the creative avoidance of physical exertion by a pre-teen boy. You can see the PSA at: https://www.alhadv.com/project/aaos-sedentary-bone-health/.

On-Line Initiatives

One of the more creative – and non- PSA tactics – we pursued was to create a custom Facebook application aimed at youth and teens. Our thought was that since so many teens are using Facebook, perhaps we could create a unique application to get them to exercise more.

As our first endeavor to engage young people online, we created a Facebook application centering around characters that look like Bones, knowing that young people like to share their lifestyles with friends.

On this Facebook page, people could select an activity, and once they have completed the activity, they got so many points for their workouts. These could be shared with others, used as part of weight loss contests, or to just keep an on-line record of workouts.

This is an example of the creative solutions we try to implement for our clients, because we clearly recognize PSAs are not a panacea we can employ to single-handedly cure deeply-rooted social problems.

On-Line Initiatives

In terms of national media promotion, we pulled out all the stops as well. Our media outreach specialist personally called nearly 200 national networks to pitch the PSA to them; we created a custom newsletter shown here to accompany TV PSAs distributed to stations, and distributed a press release via PR Web that permitted recipients to view the PSA.

Distracted Driving Campaign

Later, we launched a campaign on distracted driving, which takes many different forms, and has different audiences. Typically teens are more apt to text and drive than others, so certainly they were a key audience. This campaign had many components, which included:

  • Working with the Auto Alliance, which represents car manufacturers, in developing a co-branded website where people could report incidents of texting and driving that appeared on a map that was constantly being updated in real time
  • Sharing content with the Auto Alliance website on the campaign at www.decidetodrive.org
  • Staging a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to announce the campaign kick-off. At this conference a young teen driver spoke to the media about a car crash he caused while texting and driving, along with the orthopaedic surgeon who put his bones back together
  • Reinforcing the press conference and to promote the overall campaign, Goodwill Communications arranged complete outdoor poster coverage of the Washington, D.C. Metro area via:
    • Airport diorama posters at both Regan/National and Dulles International airports. At Regan/National we had posters throughout the baggage pick-up area, TV PSAs on the video monitors located there, and a print ad in the Washington Flyer magazine distributed at the airport
    • Complete coverage (4 posters) in the rental car lounge at the airport
    • Outdoor posters throughout the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority, which included interior/exterior bus posters, dioramas on subway platforms and walls
    • Posters surrounding the National Press Building, which is two blocks from the White House, and in all the major shopping malls in the Washington Metro Area

Digital Deadwalker Campaign

Again, as with many others we have handled, this campaign has different audiences, but unquestionably the problem of distracted walking skews towards the young.

Researchers have found that, over a decade’s time, texting while walking has caused more than 11,100 injuries. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrian deaths numbered 5,376—and were the only group of road users whose fatality numbers increased.

And it’s not just writing texts that causes problems. It is reading texts, checking emails, using social networking apps and even talking on the phone while walking. In this very compelling PSA campaign – which had broadcast/cable TV, radio, print and outdoor components – a young man is shown focusing on his phone, while he causes chaos to others while simply walking with his head down.  You can view the PSA at: https://www.alhadv.com/project/aaos-deadwalker/

In total, the campaigns we distributed on behalf of AAOS generated over $126 million in verified ad support as shown here.