ADA campaign looks at seriousness of diabetes

ALEXANDRIA, VA: The American Diabetes Association (ADA) launched a campaign November 2 to raise awareness about the seriousness of diabetes with the general public.

ALEXANDRIA, VA: The American Diabetes Association (ADA) launched a campaign November 2 to raise awareness about the seriousness of diabetes with the general public.

The association is using media relations, blogger outreach, social media, PSAs, events, and partnerships to address the public's lack of understanding about diabetes for its ongoing “Stop Diabetes” effort, said George Huntley, chair of the ADA.

“It's a multi-faceted campaign that was designed to raise awareness and get people moving and activated on the diabetes front,” he said. “This is a game-changing program for us.”

Mullen, which was named AOR for the ADA in early 2009, is providing support. Budget was not available.

The agency is reaching out to health, lifestyle, and diabetes bloggers as well as national, regional, and local TV and print outlets to drive interest in the campaign's Web site, where people can share stories, donate, and learn about the disease, said Tony Labriola, SVP and account director at Mullen.

The campaign's messaging will be integrated into the ADA brand, he added. The ADA also announced a partnership with Nutrisystem, its first corporate sponsor for the campaign. It will continue working with Gold's Gym, its partner of five years, as well.

“We wanted to partner with an organization that could help us spread the word about the importance of weight loss in improving the symptoms of diabetes,” said Susan McGowan, senior director of PR for Nutrisystem. “It adds credibility to our mission and to our product.”

The weight loss company launched Nutrisystem D, a weight loss program aimed at diabetics, in April. The partnership is part of the company's effort to raise awareness about the products and services it offers, noted McGowan.

Gold's Gym plans to host a “Burn-A-Thon” in November through its partnership with the ADA as a way to raise awareness about how exercise can be helpful in managing diabetes, said David Reiseman, VP of communications for Gold's Gym. MWW is providing support.

The goal is to burn a record-breaking 180 million calories, or 50,000 lbs of fat, worldwide in 24 hours. Members and non-members will be encouraged to sweat it out at any Gold's Gym around the world.

“The message of this event is that exercise is easy,” said Reiseman. “Just a little bit can go a long way in managing diabetes.”

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