April 2004 Bulletin

AAOS launches 2004 public service ad campaign

By Mary Ann Porucznik

The AAOS launched its 2004 multimedia public service announcement (PSA) campaign during the opening ceremonies of the 71st Annual Meeting in San Francisco. The campaign uses striking images and attention-getting copy to focus on important issues such as patient safety, osteoporosis and the need for exercise.

“This is the fourth year that the AAOS has prepared a comprehensive public service campaign,” noted John M. Purvis, MD, chair of the public education and media relations committee. “PSAs show that, as orthopaedists, we care about our patients' health and safety. They can stimulate inquiries from patients and provide a way to propose health or patient safety suggestions. Because the ads include the AAOS Web site address, they help point patients to a reliable source of additional information on musculoskeletal conditions.”

The 2004 PSA campaign includes three print ads, three versions of a television spot (60, 30 and 15 seconds in length) and both prerecorded versions and live announcer scripts for two radio spots (60, 30 and 15 seconds long).

Print ads
The Academy partnered with the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) on a print ad that focuses on the “Sign Your Site” campaign. Playing off a child's nursery rhyme, the ad asks, “And which little piggy is about to have surgery?” The accompanying photograph leaves no doubt. It depicts a patient in a bed, ankles crossed, with one toe marked for surgery.

“The keystone of AAOS patient safety efforts has always been ‘Sign Your Site,'” said Dr. Purvis. “Now that this activity has been endorsed nationally and incorporated into the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations Universal Protocol, our ads can be helpful in reminding everyone of the importance of proper procedure, patient and site identification.”

The second ad points out that “You've got 206 reasons not to be a lazybones,” and depicts a large bone in a hammock. Because bones continue to change throughout life, either by building and maintaining strength or by becoming weak and porous, staying in shape through weight-bearing exercise is critical.

Ads in the AAOS 2004 public service ad campaign focus on the need for exercise, ‘Sign Your Site’ and the relationship between fractures and osteoporosis.

The third ad examines the link between fractures and osteoporosis. A slip and fall in the tub, the ad implies, can be a “really bad break” if the fracture is a signal of underlying bone loss. The ad recommends a bone density test and lifestyle changes such as better nutrition and weight-bearing exercise to help prevent future fractures.

Radio Announcements
The Academy's first radio spot, ‘Sedentary Family,” reinforces the “get up, get out and get moving” message. Over the sounds of a racetrack, the announcer follows “Dad, on the inside, reaching for the popcorn…” and later notes “you can't get much exercise jockeying for the remote.”

A second spot features the “Trampolice,” ever watchful for unsafe trampoline activities. Backyard trampolines sent 90,000 kids to the emergency room in one year. The ad includes injury prevention tips such as using protective padding and an adult spotter.

The AAOS 2004 television spot is a sequel to its award-winning 2002 television spot, “Sedentary.” Featuring the music of Leon Redbone, performing a custom version of his hit, “Lazybones,” the commercial depicts several ways that people avoid exercise such as using the riding mower to drive to the mailbox. Although the visuals generate chuckles, they also make an important point: an increasing number of individuals are not getting sufficient recommended daily exercise.

This year, to meet digital needs of larger publications, the AAOS has put its print ads on CD. A total of 44 orthopaedic state societies are partnering with the Academy to add their name along with the Academy's as a tagline to the television spots distributed in their states. Campaign materials go nationally to 1,000 television/cable outlets, 3,000 radio outlets and 7,000 print outlets such as magazines, weekly and daily newspapers. In addition, the public service messages will be featured on display ads in more than 200 airports nationwide.

All print ads are available in poster and postcard sizes and can be ordered as part of the Community Orthopaedic Awareness Program for a minimum shipping and handling fee only. The campaign components were created by the Academy's department of public education and media relations and outside advertising agency, August, Lang and Husak Advertising Inc., of Bethesda, Md.

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