DreamWorks, GSD&M debut childhood obesity PSAs for Ad Council

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Advertising Council Inc. have joined with DreamWorks Animation SKG to create a new series of public service advertisements designed to help address childhood obesity.

The PSAs are an extension of HHS’ ongoing “Small Step” Childhood Obesity Prevention campaign, which encourages children and families to lead healthy lifestyles through characters from the movie “Shrek.”

The new PSAs urge all children to engage in physical activity and will complement the current ads, which promote the benefits of eating healthy food.

Created pro bono by ad agency GSD&M, the ads include television, outdoor ads and Web banners, which direct viewers to visit HHS’ newly redesigned Web site at www.healthierus.gov.

The Cannery, a West Coast online development firm, created the new homepage, along with a kids’ Web site at www.smallstep.gov, which includes games and activities to support the new PSAs.

According to HHS’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of young people who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980. More than 10 million school age children in the United States are considered overweight.

Several media companies have made commitments to donate time and space to support the PSAs. These companies include Nickelodeon, Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Azteca America, Comcast Spotlight and Cox Communications.

In an effort to further the reach of the ads, HHS will partner with Google’s YouTube for an online video contest beginning in spring 2007 that will encourage participants to submit videos based on the Small Step content.

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