Best Public Service Announcement

Characters from ‘The West Wing’ reunite for this health organization’s PSA

If Martin Sheen tells you to go for a walk, you should. See how collaborators at Kaiser Permanente orchestrated this amusing PSA.

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Kaiser Permanente’s public service announcement for Every Body Walk! made us laugh—and want to go for a walk.

Every Body Walk! is an online campaign that encourages people to walk 30 minutes a day, five days a week. The “Walk-And-Talk with Every Body Walk!” PSA incorporates “The West Wing” characters and shares a fun message about walking. For its sense of humor and for capturing the buzz with the PSA, we award Kaiser Permanente the prize for Best Public Service Announcement in Ragan’s Health Care PR and Marketing Awards for 2012.

Kaiser Permanente partnered with Funny or Die for this campaign, an online comedic platform that involves celebrities and comedians. In this PSA, characters walk down a hallway to share the news about the benefits of walking with the president, played by Martin Sheen. This was the first time that cast members had been reunited.

The PSA launched on May 1, the start of National Fitness Month. The PSA was posted on Every Body Walk! and the Funny or Die website.

“To support the PSA, Every Body Walk! and Funny or Die created specific online placement for the spot so we could drive traffic to a dedicated online location and effectively measure results,” says Amy Wang, of Kaiser Permanente. “A stakeholder email blast was distributed to 10,000 contacts, including walking groups, Every Body Walk! partner organizations, doctors, health professionals, and staffers on Capitol Hill.”

Showcasing the PSA—with glitz and glamour

The PSA got its own launch party at Digital Hollywood, an entertainment and tech conference, in California. More than 300 people attended, including two cast members from “The West Wing.” Afterward, Kaiser Permanente and Funny or Die pitched the PSA to traditional and social media outlets.

Creating the #westwingreunion hashtag also helped the PSA get more attention on Twitter. In addition, this was a trending story on Twitter on launch day in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, New York, and Toronto.

More than 500,000 people saw the PSA in the first month. More than 140 articles were written about the PSA, with coverage from Politico to Perez Hilton.

Congratulations to the team members who collaborated on this winning effort: Amy R. Wang, Patrice Smith, David Mays, and Holly Potter.

To see the video, click here.

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