Division C
Category 9 Website
SalterMitchell - Florida KidCare Act-Out for Health PSA Contest Website

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 coverage 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 research study on Florida’s uninsured children. UF conducted phone surveys in English, Spanish and Creole in each of Florida’s 67 counties. Only households with children under age 19 were eligible to complete the survey. In total, UF conducted 2,220 household interviews representing 4,202 children. The study revealed that children ages 12-18 were the least likely to have health insurance, with more than 16% uninsured. The research also found that most enrollees learn about KC through the school system, with teens being the least likely to take home KC information to parents. Armed with the results of UF’s study, the HK Board of Directors determined the best way to expand coverage of Florida teens was to make them care about health insurance – and they knew this would require a non-traditional approach. Their answer – a statewide PSA contest challenging middle and high school students to create a :30 commercial PSA or billboard design promoting KC. In August 2008, SalterMitchell (SM) partnered with HK to launch the inaugural statewide Florida KidCare Act-Out for Health (AOFH) PSA Contest which generated 128 entries, and more importantly, prompted students to talk to their peers and parents about health insurance. In 2009, SM was hired to build on the success and expand the reach of the contest by creating a new AOFH website. After reviewing the 2008 AOFH website, SM recommended a complete re-design with more tools and resources to engage both teachers and students and ultimately generate additional contest entries.

Objectives: Our objectives were (1) to attract at least 5,000 visitors to the AOFH contest website between the contest start date of August 31, 2009 and the winners announcement on January 29, 2010; (2) to generate at least 250 entries from six target regions before the entry deadline of December 2; about double the number of entries in 2008; and (3) to generate at least 62 online teacher registrations. Implementation: Using secondary research on similar contests and feedback from the technology teachers who participated in 2008, SM’s creative team designed and built the interactive AOFH website which launched in August 2009. For students, the website served as a portal to easily access AOFH rules and guidelines and professional online tools including logos, stock photos, storyboard guides and checklists. The highly interactive site offered a crash course in social marketing methodology, with everything students needed to create a highly customized and on-strategy ad. Students used the creative brief which included the target audience, behavioral determinants, information about the product (KC), and a quiz to ensure they understood key messaging. Armed with carefully honed messages about affordability and ease of enrollment, students had the option to design their own custom billboard design directly through the website or produce a :30 second commercial PSA promoting KC. The unique “Build Your Own Billboard” tool on the site provided students stock images, messaging, logos and other creative pieces that could be easily plugged into their ad. For more advanced students, the “Build Your Own Billboard” tool provided instructions to upload billboard designs created in Photoshop and other design programs. SM created a separate teacher interface with a planning tool specifically designed to help teachers integrate the contest into their curriculum. We asked teachers to complete an online registration form to receive e-mail updates and track participation. To encourage middle and high school technology and art teachers to incorporate AOFH into their curriculum, we provided customizable lesson plans that met the Sunshine State Standard benchmarks. For first-time teachers and students entering the contest, SM posted the winning 2008 AOFH entries as a resource on the site. To promote the AOFH website, HK and SM established a partnership with the Florida Department of Education to distribute information electronically to teachers in public, private, magnet and charter schools in all 67 counties. The contest was only promoted via e-blasts, social media and traditional media which directed teachers and students to the AOFH website. A panel of judges comprised of HK’s partner agencies, selected the statewide and regional winners, which were showcased on the website. To determine the site’s effectiveness, SM staff conducted intercept interviews with all of the winning students, teachers and principals who attended the statewide awards ceremony at Florida Hospital in Orlando. Teachers were specifically asked if they used the lesson plans and planning guides provided by HK. Students were asked to provide feedback on navigating the website and the resources provided. As one teacher said during the intercept interviews, “We loved that you gave them marketing and messaging [online] to help them focus their commercial. The kids are more aware of (KC) now, since we’ve watched all the videos.”

Evaluation:  (1) The AOFH website received 8,369 unique visits during the five month period (exceeding goal of 5,000 visitors); approximately 3,700 visitors returned to the site; (2) more than 700 entries were submitted by the December 2 deadline – 55 commercial PSAs and more than 650 billboard ads from all six target regions, surpassing our goal by 200 percent; and (3) more than 100 teachers from across the state registered on the AOFH website to receive contest updates and download materials surpassing the goal of 62 teacher registrations.  

Budget: Total project budget: $20,000 in SM staff hours to design, program, and write copy for the interactive AOFH website. No major printing costs were incurred, as all contest materials were posted online or emailed.