2009 Flu Prevention PSA Contest

Department of Health and Human Services

Hip Hop Doc wins PSA video contest promoting flu prevention and receives $2,500

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The Challenge

It is difficult to reach populations most vulnerable to the H1N1 flu virus--teens and young adults--to advise them to take actions such as washing their hands and getting a flu shot. HHS also needed a media venue that would encourage families and students to get involved and reach the most people possible by engaging them with creativity and humor.

The Solution

HHS decided to run a PSA video contest on YouTube with a cash prize and national exposure for the winning video. Subject-matter experts narrowed a large field to ten finalists, and then turned to the public to select the overall winner. On September 22, 209, the winner was announced, awarded $2,500 in cash, and featured on national television. Runner-up PSAs are also being seen on a number of national media outlets.

The Benefit

The PSA video contest created a huge amount of interest and awareness. More than 50,000 votes were cast in determining the winner, and hundreds of thousands of people viewed the many entries. The interest continues as many cable and broadcast outlets, such as the Washington Post, USA Today, and ABC’s Good Morning America, clamor for an opportunity to showcase the winning and final runner-up videos. The PSA contest has helped HHS reach teens and young adults to educate thousands about how to avoid the H1N1 flu.

Additional Details

  • Some 250 videos were submitted as a part of the contest; then narrowed down to 10 finalist by subject matter experts;
  • More than 50,000 votes were cast in determining the winner
  • Several hundred thousand people have viewed the entries on YouTube
  • Spanish language and sign language PSAs were both entered. The Spanish language PSA is getting national exposure.

For more information, email newmedia@hhs.gov