Hooray, they got it right!!
We're always happy to feel that way and say those words about media reports or commercials about diabetes.
Sadly, it doesn't happen as often as we'd like. Advocacy commercials quite often focus on the negative, use scare tactics for shock value, or just add to the many misconceptions that exist about diabetes. Case in point: the recent PSA from the International Diabetes Federation called "Diabetes Kills" that we weren't fond of ...
But when the messages are clear and positive, and inspire you to learn more or do better, it's worth celebrating -- and maybe even chanting "got it right" with grins on our faces.
To the point: we were thrilled to see two recent ads that are spot-on in their messaging, keeping it positive and clear in their focus while not using scare tactics to motivate those watching.
We're fans of this pair of unrelated and unconnected ads about diabetes -- or in social media terms, we "Like" them and give them a "+1" and won't hesitate to Retweet!
First, we have this one called "Not My Kids," produced by the California Department of Public Health's Network for a Healthy California. The 30-second ad is designed to reach Latino families in the West Coast state, encouraging them to make healthy choices (or changes) in what their families eat -- all to protect children from chronic diseases that can come from childhood obesity. It's not punitive or blaming, but focuses on the "I didn't know..." aspect.
The ad clearly says type 2 diabetes whenever D is mentioned, so there's no question what the focus is. We see so many examples in this community where the general public, the media, and others don't distinguish between the two types, so it's refreshing to see this clarity here. D-Mom Leighann Calentine had similar thoughts in reacting to the ad the other day, too.
Sure, it would be great to see more of these kinds of messages about type 1 out there, but that's almost beside the point... This ad doesn't confuse the types or feed the myth (pun partially intended!) that eating too much sugar causes type 1 in kids -- that's not even an issue in this commercial because the language and focus is very clear. It's empowering for people to learn more about how they can improve their health choices.
Positive, straightforward, and pretty clever in how they turn the negative around to a "we can change destiny" message in this 71-second-long video. Actually, this "bleak future flipped around to a hopeful one" format isn't new -- it was introduced back in 2007 for a video submission to an AARP contest. But even with that knowledge, it doesn't change the fact that the JDRF has a good video here.
Of course, there's sobering data behind both of the messages in these ads -- the fact that childhood obesity exists and contributes to broader health problems, and how D-research funding is being cut to our community's detriment. But the ads don't need to dwell on the gloom and doom, because that doesn't spur people into action. Rather, it's powerful when viewers can learn a little something. And these two commercials offer us hope and encouragement to think about how we can start making a difference.
When the messages are done right, they deserve recognition. Because as D-Dad Tom Karlya wrote recently, it's not easy marketing anything, and diabetes commercials can be very emotional.
Well done, JDRF and California Department of Public Health! We hope more marketing folk out there take note of how these turned out.
What say you, D-Community... any thoughts on these new promos?