Own It: Turning National Conversations Into Local Campaigns

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UCHealth finds a unique way to turn a national conversation about men's health into a local experience.

Odds are, you know a friend, brother, father, son or colleague who has shunned his razor for the month of November in an effort to raise awareness for cancer, men's health, or to simply show off an epic mustache. We can probably point to 2003 as the unofficial start of the “Movember” campaign, which has since become a fantastic foundation aimed at a simple mission: Stop men from dying too young.

But, did you know that Men's Health Month is actually officially designated in June? The Movember campaign staked their claim in a different month, and now we all have an excuse to talk about men's health twice a year, instead of once.

How fascinating is it that a catchy, branded, campaign with a fun message and a seemingly hilarious call-to-action can shift the conversation to a completely different time of year?

One could call that “ownership.”

One of the greatest assets of a national dialogue is the ability to leverage broad familiarity into a focused, community-based conversation.

As a rapidly-growing health care system based in Colorado, we are constantly searching for ways to engage with the population we serve. Doctors preaching healthy habits and early screenings has been done, well, a lot. We had to find a new way to communicate what was basically the same message.

Enter: UCHealth's MANtenance campaign.

It all boiled down to one simple, idea. People can relate to the importance of car maintenance to get the most out of their vehicle for extended periods of time. If we treat this universal idea as a metaphor for a man's body and mind, it becomes a new way to have an old conversation.

Just like car maintenance isn't always a dire situation, men's health isn't just about heavy, serious subjects, like prostate or testicular cancer. Regular check-ups are important, and mental health and fitness should be part of the conversation as well.

UCHealth made the decision to take a step back as the primary voice in the MANtenance campaign. Instead, we asked our sports and entertainment partners, prominent government officials, local community influencers -- and even our own patients -- to tell their stories.

Throughout November 2017, UCHealth hosted events, pushed a social video vignette series, and enlisted the most prominent buildings in Denver to light themselves blue – the official color of men's health awareness.

Our primary goals were digital engagement, and earned media. The name of the game? Diversity. We wanted to communicate men's health awareness using a variety of tactics with a variety of voices, and find ways to tell as many unique stories as possible though out the MANtenance campaign.

Of course, the true objectives are a bit more altruistic -- much like UCHealth's credo, “Live Extraordinary.”

If we can inspire a 27-year-old retail manager to hit the gym one more time a week; or encourage a 44-year-old father to play outside with his kids when he gets home from work; or convince a 56-year-old to schedule his colonoscopy...that's what we consider success. 

Bill Smith is Manager of Corporate Partnerships for UCHealth and works on a team to build brand affinity and experiential marketing campaigns through UCHealth's strategic partners such as the Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies, and Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center.

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