Division A
Category 3 - Institutional
Florida KidCare Act-Out for Health PSA Contest

Research/Situation Analysis:
Florida Healthy Kids (HK) administers Florida KidCare (KC), the state and federally subsidized health insurance program providing free to low-cost insurance for children ages 1-18. In January 2008, the University of Florida’s (UF) Institute for Child Health Policy presented HK with the results of a study on Florida’s uninsured children, which revealed that children ages 12-18 were the least likely to have health insurance, with more than 16% uninsured. The research found that most enrollees learn about KC through the school system. Because HK receives no funding for paid advertising, cost-effective outreach strategies form the core of the marketing efforts. Based on the research, in 2008 HK staff and SalterMitchell (SM) launched the first statewide Florida KidCare Act-Out for Health (AOFH) PSA contest to reach students and encourage them to talk to their peers and parents about health insurance. In 2009, our goal was to build on the success of the 2008 contest by encouraging technology and art teachers to incorporate AOFH into their curriculum, providing teens with the tools to create ads that were on strategy and message. Objectives: Our objectives were: (1) to generate at least 250 entries from six target regions, about double the entries in 2008; (2) to receive on-strategy ads produced by teens for the target audience;  (3) to secure at least 12 print or online story placements before December 2; (4) to secure six print or online story placements about the winners; (5) to secure an event partner for the awards ceremony and two media partners to run the statewide winning commercial and billboard; (6) to increase awareness and discussion of health care among 12-18 year olds; and (7) to increase KC enrollment in children under 19 during the campaign.  

By August 2009, SM had developed the guidelines for AOFH using secondary research on similar contests and feedback from technology teachers who participated in 2008. SM re-designed and built the AOFH website [actout4health.com], which served as the go-to resource for the entire contest. The interactive site offered a crash course in social marketing methodology, with professional online tools students needed to create a highly customized and on-strategy ad. The creative brief included target audience, behavioral determinants, information about the product (KC), and a quiz to ensure they understood key messaging.  Teachers and students were provided logos, professional stock photos, rules and planning guides. Students submitted billboard designs directly through the website. To keep costs down, HK’s in-house staff designed the downloadable entry packet and collaterals (e-blasts/lesson plans). A portion of the project budget was set aside for student prizes– gift cards and scholarships. In addition, HK rewarded the winners’ schools with a donation of up to $1,000, further incentivizing schools to participate. Once the website and contest plan were in place, SM focused on using the internet, social media, traditional media and partner resources to promote the contest and the KC program. Since teachers and their students were our primary audience, we enlisted support from the Florida Department of Education (DOE).  DOE staff placed the contest information in The Core, a bi-weekly e-newsletter publication for teachers; Just for Teachers, a monthly newsletter distributed to approximately 190,000 teachers; and emailed AOFH information to their contact database of teachers in every public, private, magnet, and charter school in Florida. From September through November, SM mounted an aggressive earned media push targeting education and health reporters as well as bloggers and other social media. After the entry deadline, judges were recruited from DOE and other HK partners to select the winners. On January 29, all but three of the 24 winners attended the statewide ceremony at Florida Hospital in Orlando along with their parents, teachers and principals. As one teacher said during the intercept interviews, “We loved that you gave them marketing and messaging to help them focus their commercial. The kids are more aware of (KC) now, since we’ve watched all the videos.” A student said, “My mom sent emails to everyone at her work. I posted it on Facebook like a thousand times. The girl featured in our video has Florida KidCare.” In addition, the schools offered to help promote KC to parents during orientation and air the commercial PSAs on their school’s TV programs.

Evaluation:  (1) Approximately 700 entries were submitted by the December 2 deadline from all six target regions – 55 commercial PSAs and more than 650 billboard ads, surpassing our goal by 200 percent; (2) 95% of the ads submitted were on strategy and contained key messaging; (3) a total of 40 print and online articles about AOFH were placed before the entry deadline, more than 300% over our goal; (4) a total of 11 print, online and broadcast articles were published about the contest winners – most in their hometown media market; (5) partners contributed significantly to the event – Comcast Cable is airing the top PSA this spring, the Florida Outdoor Advertising Association donated billboard space in Boynton Beach, the winner’s hometown; Florida Hospital donated event space for the awards ceremony; DOE distributed materials to teachers statewide; the Florida Association for Media in Education donated free booth space to HK to promote AOFH at their annual conference; (6) intercept interviews conducted at the awards ceremony with students, teachers and principals showed that many of the teens were not aware of KC prior to the contest and shared information they had learned with their parents and friends; and (7) based on HK data, KC enrollment increased throughout the AOFH campaign.

Budget: Total project budget: $72,450. From August to January, SM staff hours were covered under a retainer of $7,500 per month. HK purchased $44,400 for prizes; $550 for the billboard production; $20,000 to design and build the AOFH website. No major printing costs were incurred, as all contest materials were posted online or emailed.