AAOS Bulletin - April, 2005

New PSA campaign focuses on injury prevention, safety

The Academy’s 2005 PSA campaign catches on with media

By Carolyn Rogers

The Academy’s new, eye-catching public service advertising (PSA) campaign—which debuted during the 2005 Annual Meeting—is catching on with the nation’s media. CBS News, Newsweek magazine and CNN Headline News are just some of the media outlets that have seized on the campaign’s important messages and brought them to the public.

The 2005 campaign includes three print ads, a radio spot about road traffic safety and a television ad about the importance of appropriate daily physical activity to maintain musculoskeletal heath.

Eye-catching ads

The campaign’s print ads pair striking images with clever copy to bring attention to important topics such as injury prevention, patient safety and osteoporosis.

“Diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend,” reads one print ad aimed at the parents of young girls. Instead of a diamond, the ad reveals a bone nestled in a luxurious, velvet-lined jewelry box, along with the explanation: “Looking good on the outside begins by being strong on the inside.”

AAOS partnered with the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society on the ad, which goes on to explain that strong bones help prevent fractures as well as height loss.

The Academy teamed up with the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) for an ad about the prevention of children’s sport injuries. The ad shows a group of cheering young children celebrating a baseball victory, and poses the question, “What will they have longer, their trophies or their injuries?”

To prevent chronic injuries, the PSA encourages parents to seek immediate medical attention not only for broken bones, but also for injuries such as sore shoulders and swollen knees.

The third print ad offers a new take on the AAOS “Sign Your Site” campaign aimed at preventing wrong-site surgery. The new ad shows a woman draped for surgery with the words “Prescriptions require a signature…Shouldn’t surgery?” scrawled across her bare back.

Radio and TV spots, too

In addition to the print ads, the PSA campaign also includes radio spots—in 15-, 30- and 60-second versions—that introduce listeners to “Frank, the pedestrian you just missed.” Frank addresses the need for drivers to pay attention, points out the dangers of walking or driving while listening or talking on cell phones, and encourages both pedestrians and drivers to look out for each other.

Television spots, also in 15-, 30- and 60-second versions, take a slightly different approach to the “Get Up, Get Out, Get Moving” campaign of previous years, which focused on how lazy Americans have become.

The humorous new spots cover a newly discovered mode of locomotion—walking. They show an absent-minded professor “discovering” the importance of the feet, making appearances at press conferences and on television talk shows to demonstrate how feet work, and reminding everyone that walking not only gets you from one place to another, it’s also good for building strong bones.

Campaign draws national media attention

In early March, the CBS Early Show aired a three-minute live segment on the campaign and the prevention of children’s sport injuries. Health reporter Emily Senay, MD, displayed the AAOS/NATA print ad and offered injury prevention tips to viewers. The CBS News Web site posted more information on the topic, as well as links to AAOS, NATA and U.S. Bone and Joint Decade Web sites.

Newsweek magazine ran a story on the PSA campaign in the “Tip Sheet” section of its March 14 issue, and Time for Kids magazine ran a story that same week. Both NATA and AAOS provided insight and interviews for these articles.

CNN Headline News aired a segment on youth sport injuries and the PSA campaign on March 18. CNN Radio also taped a one-minute segment for distribution to its affiliate stations. The segment was also streamed on the cnn.com Web site.

Other media outlets likely to feature the campaign in the near future include the LA Times, ESPN and ESPN 2, USA Today and many others.


The 2005 PSA campaign materials are being distributed nationally to 1,500 television/cable outlets, 3,500 radio outlets and 7,000 print outlets — such as magazines and weekly and daily newspapers. In addition, the public service messages are featured on display ads in more than 200 airports nationwide.

The Academy’s previous campaigns have been well received by the public as well as the fellowship, and several have won awards. The new PSAs can be viewed at the AAOS Web site by clicking on the “Public/Patient Education” tab and scrolling down to Public Service Announcement Information. 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.

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