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Jumping joints! AAOS unveils 2009 PSAs

By: Peter Pollack

By Peter Pollack

Animated TV spot features rocking soundtrack

“Crafting a health message that will stick is not easy,” says Nicholas A. DiNubile, MD, 2008 chair of the Public Relations Oversight Group. “But I really think people will remember the Academy’s 2009 public service announcements (PSAs).” The new campaign made its debut at the 2009 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas and generated laughs and applause from those in attendance.

Jumpin’ joints
“The campaign features an animated TV spot—the first time the Academy has used animation instead of live action to get our message across to viewers,” says Communications Cabinet Chair Frank B. Kelly, MD. “The visuals are appealing and entertaining, and the audio really rocks. It’s the sort of music that gets your joints jumping, which is sort of the theme,” he laughs.

“The joints don’t jump no more” is the rocking refrain of the theme song played in the AAOS radio and television PSAs. The TV version features animated characters experiencing sudden pain in a variety of joints. Fast-paced and lighthearted action leads to a finale directing viewers to the Academy’s patient education Web site, orthoinfo.org.

In the final refrain, the words change to “the joints ain’t sore no more.” The on-screen character tosses his dance partner in the air and calls out, “Ha-ha, I’ve still got it!”

“It’s got good information; and it’s a hot topic that affects a lot of people,” says Dr. DiNubile. “The focus is on education and prevention. The spots also show people that treatment can help.”

The animated spot can be viewed on the AAOS Web site (www.aaos.org); simply click on “Public Service Announcements” in the left navigation column.

Other media
The radio spot uses the same music, but the animated characters are replaced by an announcer who sends the listener to orthoinfo.org while explaining, “You don’t have to take joint pain sitting down.”

Building on a similar theme, the Academy has a new set of promotional postcards and posters. The art shows line drawings of a person engaged in some physical activity such as fishing or jogging. The line is frayed and broken at a joint. Under the headline “Don’t let joint pain interrupt your life,” the ads encourage readers to consult an orthopaedic surgeon for advice on “how to get back in the game,” along with a link to orthoinfo.org

A new set of promotional postcards and posters is available free to AAOS members for use in their practice’s public relations campaigns.

A unified approach
Several other themes are presented in materials that AAOS has developed in unity with other health and medical organizations.

Several men and women of various ethnic backgrounds engaged in a range of activities such as gardening and rappelling are featured in a orthopaedic diversity recruiting ad. The headline asks the reader to “guess who isn’t an orthopaedic surgeon.” (Hint: It’s the mime.) The diversity recruiting ad was created by the AAOS, in conjunction with the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society, the J. Robert Gladden Orthopaedic Society, the Diversity Advisory Board and the Women’s Health Issues Advisory Board.

“Diversity is an extremely important issue,” says Dr. DiNubile. “We’re learning more and more that everyone doesn’t see health care the same way, and the more diversity you have in providers, the more sensitive you’re going to be to different ways to optimize treatment of certain groups.”

An ad encouraging parents to have their children screened for scoliosis was the product of a joint effort between AAOS, the Scoliosis Research Society, the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“We’ve really pushed the unity initiative in recent years at the Academy,” explains Dr. Kelly. “This particular ad gave us a great chance to reach out to these groups and partner with them on an important issue.”

The ad features a little girl playing on a swing, wearing a shirt that bears a picture of the U.S. “winding road” road sign. The tag line states, “If only the early warning signs of scoliosis were this obvious.”

Finally, a PSA targeting awareness of injuries among women in sports states, “Too many female athletes are getting put on the shelf.” A photo displays a trophy of a woman in a soccer outfit on crutches with her knee bandaged. The engraving at the base of the trophy declares her to be “MVP – Most Vulnerable Player.” The announcement was produced by AAOS and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.

Free for your use
“The PSAs are well done, they carry excellent messages, and they’re most effective when they’re used,” says Dr. Kelly. To that end, he encourages all AAOS members to take advantage of the new public service materials.

“Get posters for your office, use the postcards for appointment reminders, and play the radio spot on your telephone, so that patients can hear it while they are on hold,” he advises. Anyone interested in receiving copies of the 2009 PSAs (at no charge) can contact the AAOS Public Relations Department at (847) 384-4036, or via e-mail at publicrelations@aaos.org

Peter Pollack is a staff writer for AAOS Now. He can be reached at ppollack@aaos.org

One of the new AAOS public service advertising images was developed in conjunction with the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society and the J. Robert Gladden Orthopaedic Society.

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