CDC Targets Public Health

How did the Center for Disease Control (CDC) convince people in high-risk age groups and health conditions to get a flu vaccination? Lotame worked with AED, a nonprofit agency focusing on education, health, civil society and economic development, to create a campaign for the CDC.

The rollover ad unit, which raised awareness in online versions of such papers as the Los Angeles Times, ran from Nov. 1, 2010 through the end of the year throughout Lotame's network. It specifically targeted males and females ages 18 to 25, along with healthcare providers, African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and pregnant women and mothers of all ages.

The Lotame Media Group pairs custom-built Smart Data segments with media (for this campaign, it was an impact creative unit built for this client) and delivers the campaign only to the audience target built by the client to precisely target audience segments. Given that each audience segment is built from declared registration and profile information, or from what audience members are saying, doing and viewing online, rather than panel-based, it has proven to provide accurate data, according to the company. The Media Group leverages Lotame's audience targeting platform, Crowd Control, which is where the data lives, to build these precise audiences and deliver the media across its network of publishing partners.



Awareness and intention to get the flu vaccine became the metrics for success. Lotame tapped in-banner studies from KN Dimestore to poll consumers, targeting audience who have both been exposed to and not been exposed to the campaign's ads. The company then compared the results between the two groups to identify how exposure to the campaign affected response in terms of Awareness, Likelihood to Recommend, and Intent.

More than half of the 2,624 survey respondents said either they had never received a flu vaccine in the past five years, or they couldn't remember if they had ever had one. Among that group of 1,357 respondents, those who saw the campaign ads were 24% more likely to admit they would either "definitely" or "probably" get a vaccine this year, which became a measurement of "intention."

"It's hard to use the same campaign to reach a wide array of audience types, but Lotame did a very good job coping with that challenge," said Amelia Burke, director of digital media at AED's Center for Health Communication.

Although it wasn't a goal AED and Lotame set out to achieve, the "likelihood to recommend" became a metric for the campaign. Those who either had never received a flu vaccine in the previous five years, or couldn't remember doing so, became 16% more likely to report they would either "definitely" or "probably" recommend getting a vaccination to a friend or a family member after exposure to campaign ads.

If given the opportunity to run the campaign again, AED and Lotame admitted the two companies would reduce the number of targeted segments to those that performed best to achieve even better results.

Ironically, the CDC isn't the only government agency taping into online advertising, targeting or social networks. The Department of Homeland Security has decided to scrap the five-color coded terror alert system for a two level system -- elevated and imminent -- sometimes on Facebook and Twitter.

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