AF representatives worked collaboratively with the Ad Council, which selects groups that it believes have worthy messages for the public. Then, the Ad Council taps into the expertise and creativity of ad executives from a variety of well-known ad agencies, such as Young & Rubicam, to create campaigns, Dr. White says. Previous Ad Council campaigns that are particularly famous include, “Loose lips sink ships,” Smokey the Bear’s “Only you can prevent forest fires,” and “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.”
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Explore This IssueFebruary 2010
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The OA ad campaign will also have a catchy slogan: “Moving is the best medicine.” The ads that were designed “grab your attention,” Dr. White says. “The print ads are fun, clear, and clean.”
What’s also unique is that they focus on what patients can do for themselves to alleviate joint aches and pains. “From a public health perspective, this is the group that can do the most for themselves. With RA, patients can use certain drugs. With OA, maybe someday patients will be able to take certain drugs, but for now, the most important thing is weight loss and physical activity,” Dr. White says. The ads convey this message with visuals and information, such as the fact that each additional pound gained adds four pounds of pressure on each knee, she says.
Drs. White and Klippel also believe that the public will gain valuable information by visiting the Web site featured as part of the campaign, www.fightarthritispain.org. The site will feature patient-friendly information about OA and other types of arthritis, information on exercise videos and other resources available through the AF, and answers to questions such as whether or not it is safe to exercise with joint pain. Visitors to the site can also take a 12-question risk assessment for OA. Using the assessment, patients can determine if they are at low, medium, or high risk for OA.
The three-year campaign will be underway in full force this year and then will rest for one year. Then, the campaign will launch again in 2012. The campaign is tracking public awareness of OA both before and after the campaign.
The OA ad campaign launch coincides with a joint effort of the AF and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to bring a national public health focus on OA, Dr. White says.
A Patient’s Perspective
Pam Snow, a patient with OA, believes strongly in the message behind the campaign. “If you don’t move, you lose,” says Snow, a volunteer with the AF who lives in Warner Robins, Ga. Although she has not seen the final campaign, she was part of a group of people consulted during the development of the campaign’s message.