Trying to convince middle-aged men to see their doctors regularly, a new public service effort launched this week uses humor to educate men older than 40 about the importance of preventive screening tests.
The effort, created pro bono by Grey New York, is an extension of the Men's Preventive Health campaign launched in 2008 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Ad Council. The PSAs are timed to coincide with Men's Health Week, June 13 to 19, and Father's Day, June 20.
According to new data released this week by AHRQ, men are 24% less likely to have seen a doctor within the past year than women. Men are also 30% more likely than women to be hospitalized for preventable conditions, such as congestive heart failure and diabetes complications. In addition, men are 22% more likely than women to have neglected their cholesterol tests.
The new TV, radio, print, outdoor and Web ads use family as the main factor to convince men to take a more active role in preventive health. They encourage men to visit a www.ahrq.gov/healthymen for information on which tests they need, tips for talking with their doctors and links to more medical information.
"Good luck trying to get a grown man to the doctor unless he's half dead," said Rob Baiocco, exec VP-executive creative director, Grey New York, in announcing the effort. "So tell him he might not be around for his family—and do it in a jarring way—and he'll get his butt into the doctor's office for some preventive tests."