AAOS Announces Its 2018 Public Service Advertising Campaign

By: Alan Hilibrand, MD, MBA, and Lauren Pearson Riley

New campaign tackles falls prevention, youth sports specialization, and the importance of lifelong activity for healthy bones and joints

The Academy today unveiled its 2018 public service advertising (PSA) campaign—a print ad focusing on sports specialization, a radio spot highlighting falls prevention among the elderly, and a relaunch of the 2017 television spot, which focuses on the vital role of families in promoting child exercise and bone health.

The PSAs were distributed to more than 5,000 media outlets, including television and radio stations, print publications, and outdoor billboard/sign companies.

“These campaigns underscore the importance of taking good care of your bones, joints, and muscles,” said incoming AAOS President David Halsey, MD. “Whether it’s staying active while young or taking steps to minimize the dangers around the house that can lead to hip fractures, not taking immediate action can have lifelong effects on musculoskeletal health and devastating consequences.”

Falls prevention

Falls can happen anytime and anywhere to people of any age. However, as people get older, the number of falls and the severity of the resulting injuries increases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four adults age 65 and older falls each year. Falls are also the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in people 65 years old and older. Common injuries due to falls are head injuries, shoulder and forearm fractures, spine fractures, pelvic fractures, and hip fractures.

The new radio ad, created in partnership with the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA), is titled “Preventing Falls Among the Elderly” and demonstrates how devastating falls can be to elderly people. The 30- and 60-second ads encourage conversations between aging parents and their adult children, as well as with caregivers, to ignite ideas around how to make homes safer.

According to OTA president William M. Ricci, MD, “A hip fracture can be devastating and many things can put one at a higher risk for a fall, such as certain medical conditions, poor conditioning, or poor balance. This radio spot encourages everyone to think about having these simple conversations with our loved ones, our parents, our aging friends, and even our patients as there are simple steps that can help reduce fall risk and ensure home safety.”

OTA and the Academy have a list of risks and home modifications online at OrthoInfo.org/falls and encourage members to share this link with their patients.

Sports specialization

For those of you in New Orleans, I hope you noticed the life-sized OneSport™ Injury booth in Academy Hall. This booth replicates the 2018 ad that was sent to more than 400 outdoor media spaces across the country. Members and the public will begin seeing this ad on billboards, in shopping malls and bus shelters this spring.

“Overuse injuries in children happen often and can have lifelong effects on their game, health, and quality of life,” stated Charles Bush Joseph, MD, president of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM). “More and more athletes under the age of 12 are focusing on just one sport and training year-round. We hope this ad encourages parents, coaches, and athletes to think about participating in a variety of activities all year long. Sports participation has so many benefits for kids and their developing bones and muscles. And with proper rest and recovery, they can reap these benefits and stay in the game for life.”

The ad features both a female soccer player and a male baseball player with the headline, “The OneSport™ Injury. Doctors can treat them. Parents and coaches can prevent them.” It encourages people to visit Orthoinfo.org/onesportinjury and stopsportsinjuries.org to learn more about what they can do to help prevent overuse injuries in kids and teens.

Active families

Video games, technology, screen time, and busy schedules are resulting in fewer opportunities for exercise in today’s children and adolescents. To emphasize the need for kids to stay healthy and active, AAOS and the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) have re-released “Teeter-Totter,” a 30- and 60-second television spot that humorously features grandparents introducing various outdoor activities to their technology-focused grandson. The video is funny but also sends an important message: Parents, grandparents, and families can play an important role in encouraging healthy behaviors in children.

“You’re going to love your new birthday present. Are you ready?” a grandfather says as he uncovers his grandson’s eyes in the new video. “It’s a teeter-totter.”

The child looks unimpressed and returns to his electronic game. Eventually, after several funny and unsuccessful attempts to introduce outdoor activities to their grandson, the grandparents take him to the park for a walk. The video ends with the boy and a friend on the teeter totter with the reminder: “For strong bones, activity runs in the family.” For more information, viewers are directed to OrthoInfo.org/ActiveFamilies.

This television spot generated nationwide attention and interest across 300 networks in 2017, including CNN Airport Network, Fox Business Network, Fox News Channel, and Grit TV. Local television affiliates aired it in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Houston, San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, and many smaller markets across the country. More than a third of stations that aired the spot were in the top 50 markets.

There were nearly 29,000 airings of the television spots, with most airings occurring in the daytime hours between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The 60-second version of the ad aired the most, and the ad on YouTube recorded about 2,000 views to date.

The Academy will continue to leverage these three campaigns in other external communication efforts. To help extend reach, members are encouraged to help spread awareness with their patients and local stakeholders. Campaign material can be used on your personal websites, on your social media pages, and in your offices. To find out more or explore other ways to get involved, please contact Melissa Leeb, director, communications, at leeb@aaos.org or 847-384-4030.

“These campaigns help to position orthopaedic surgeons as the expert providers who sincerely care about preventing injuries and healthy behaviors,” Dr. Halsey said. “I hope at least one of these campaigns resonates with each of our members, and more importantly with our public and media audiences, which, in turn, will make a difference in the lives of our current and future patients. We’re also pleased that OTA, AOSSM, and POSNA have joined us in promoting these important messages.”

Alan S. Hilibrand, MD, is chair of the AAOS Communications Cabinet.

Lauren Pearson Riley is a manager, public and media relations, in the AAOS communications department.


Attendees visit the Academy’s OneSport™ Injury booth in Academy Hall. This booth represents the 2018 public service advertising campaign, which was sent to more than 400 outdoor media spaces across the country. Members and the public will see this ad on billboards, in shopping malls, and bus shelters this spring.