New Public Service Ads are Part of the First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative to Combat Childhood Obesity
PSAs Featuring Scholastic Media’s Maya & Miguel and Warner Bros.’ Looney Tunes’ Legendary Characters, along with Top Athletes, Encourage Children to Play Every Day
WASHINGTON, D.C., – As part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, she has partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Ad Council today launched a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) designed to address childhood obesity. The ads feature Warner Bros.’ legendary Looney Tunes characters Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety and Taz, as well as Scholastic Media’s Maya & Miguel, as an extension of HHS’ Childhood Obesity Prevention campaign, which encourages children and families to lead healthy lifestyles.
Earlier today, the First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off the national campaign Let’s Move!, building on effective strategies at all levels and in all sectors, to engage families and communities and mobilize both public and private sector resources to solve the childhood obesity challenge within one generation.
Created pro bono by Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Scholastic Media, the PSAs leverage the fun aspects and family appeal of each partner’s characters to reach children with important messages about being healthy.
One series of ads features the Looney Tunes characters as they are paired up with professional athletes to deliver an active lifestyle message that tells kids you don’t have to be a pro to “Be A Player.” The Looney Tunes’ beloved characters appear alongside New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant. These ads were developed in collaboration with the NFL PLAY 60 and NBA FIT initiatives. In addition, pro skateboarder Tony Hawk and Olympic Gold Medalist Misty May-Treanor are featured in PSAs aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle and increasing physical fitness for kids.
Another series of PSAs guided by the creative expertise of ad agency Casanova Pendrill, features Maya & Miguel (commonly seen on PBS KIDS GO!) and encourages children to the “Take the Maya & Miguel Challenge” as a way to get more physically active and eat healthy. The Maya & Miguel materials produced by Scholastic were created in both English and Spanish to leverage the characters’ strong appeal to all Hispanic families, as well as general audiences.
“We are delighted to join Michelle Obama and the Department of Health & Human Services in their efforts to encourage children throughout the country to lead healthier lifestyles,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “These new PSAs are a wonderful extension of our ongoing campaign, and Mrs. Obama’s new Let’s Move! initiative, and I believe children will be encouraged by the characters and athletes that they admire, and ultimately, motivated to get healthy.”
According to HHS’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of young people who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980, with more than 9 million school age children over the age of 6 in the U.S. considered overweight. In addition to the psychological and social issues of stigmatization, overweight children are at far greater risk of growing into adults who have cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases that may reduce the length and quality of their lives. A CDC report found that the health cost of obesity in the U.S. is as high as $147 billion annually.
The full PSA campaign will be distributed to media outlets nationwide in March. The PSAs are an extension of HHS’ and the Ad Council’s “Get Up and Play” campaign, the TV, radio, print, outdoor and Web PSAs encourage children to participate in activities that they enjoy in an effort to be more physically active. The overall campaign reminds kids and their families that playing an hour each day is an important part of being healthy and demonstrates the fun they can have doing it. Each series of PSAs directs audiences to the First Lady’s new website www.letsmove.gov, where they will find links to the HHS and Ad Council sponsored www.SmallStep.gov, a fun interactive destination that provides helpful information on healthy eating and physical activity.
“We are honored that the Looney Tunes characters are supporting Michelle Obama, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Ad Council in this campaign to combat the problem of childhood obesity in the United States,” said Brad Globe, president, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety and Taz uniquely deliver this important message in an entertaining way, and are the perfect ambassadors of fun and active lifestyles for families across the country.”
The PSAs are a continuation of the Ad Council and HHS’ successful Childhood Obesity Prevention campaign that first launched in 2005 and the Ad Council’s Coalition for Healthy Children initiative, which encourages marketers and the media to adopt consistent healthy lifestyle messages. Previous PSAs for the campaign and Coalition have featured characters from DreamWorks’ Shrek, Warner Bros. Pictures’ Where the Wild Things Are film, NFL players, LPGA athletes and U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists. The NFL, NBA, Warner Bros. Entertainment and Scholastic are each participants in the Ad Council’s Coalition.
Per the Ad Council’s model, all of the new PSAs will run and air in advertising time and space that is donated by the media. To date, the Childhood Obesity Prevention campaign has received more than $179 million in donated media support and more than 1 in every 3 children between the ages of 6 to 12 yrs. has reported recognizing the campaign. Furthermore, in 2009, children said they cared more about getting enough physical activity than they did prior to launching the campaign’s first round of PSAs in 2005 (68 percent in 2009 vs. 55 percent in 2005).
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
The Department of Health and Human Services is the United States government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. The department includes more than 300 programs, covering a wide spectrum of activities, including medical and social science research, preventing outbreak of infectious disease, including immunization services, assuring food and drug safety, welfare, and Medicare and Medicaid.
The Advertising Council
The Ad Council (www.adcouncil.org) is a private, non-profit organization that marshals talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to produce, distribute and promote public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and government agencies. The Ad Council addresses issue areas such as improving the quality of life for children, preventive health, education, community well-being, environmental preservation and strengthening families.
The goal of the Ad Council’s Coalition for Healthy Children is to help address the obesity crisis that confronts our nation and its children. Its mission is to provide clear, consistent, research-based messages to children and parents on the importance of practicing a healthier lifestyle and offer them the means to do it. This can be achieved by harnessing the combined strengths of marketers, media companies, non-profit groups and government agencies. The Coalition’s members have made a commitment to the promotion of healthy living to our nation’s families and have agreed to incorporate the Coalition’s messages into their own communications programs. For more information about the Coalition, please visit www.HealthyChildrenCoalition.org.
LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
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