February 8, 2012

Amputated legs and soda — what is the message?

Is it too much for the average New York commuter to see amputated legs linked to a soda?

While on their way to the Super Bowl parade on Tuesday morning, Giants fans in New York City were being reminded of one of the most dangerous diseases of our time — diabetes. It is among the most common health conditions in the United States, with 20 million Americans diagnosed to date. The cost to our country? A staggering $174 billion.

A debate rages in New York between public health officials, medical professionals and the public about whether the scare tactics of Mayor Bloomberg’s latest public health campaign work. Is it too much for the average New York commuter to see amputated legs linked to a soda? AB&C has been developing public health messages for decades and, based on our focus groups, shocking images work.

When developing public health messages, we have a choice — do we challenge people to do better, as with a campaign like my7minutes.com, or do we shock people into action as Mayor Bloomberg has chosen to do? Either way, we have to create messages that engage the consumer and motivate behavior change.

By 2015, one in three Americans is expected to be living with diabetes. If you live in the New York City area and want to learn more about diabetes, go to http://www.friedmandiabetesinstitute.com/.

Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/06/nyregion/some-say-new-york-city-health-ads-should-inspire-not-scare.html?ref=health

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/25/nyregion/in-health-dept-ad-photoshop-not-diabetes-took-leg.html]

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