Seriously, What is a Calorie?: Using Incentive Appeals and Old-School Techniques to Give Value to the Intangible Nutrition Fact

Fear appeals seldom work in behavior change because, quite frankly, no one knows what it feels like to die. So even when we’re presented with tame fear appeals, like cigarette warning labels that read “may cause lung cancer” or nutrition facts listing high sodium or calorie counts, we shrug it off because we can’t “see” their effects on our weakened lungs or struggling heart (like we could see, say, the results of a broken arm or tattoo). The idea of cigarette tar or a calorie poses no threat to me because I can’t even fathom what it is in its basic form—much less what it may do to my body.

So what if, instead of threatening my life, the appeal threatened my quality of life by actually showing me the threat’s impact on the things that I deem most important? Suddenly, our “out of sight, out of mind” mantra shifts to “I’m still not convinced this thing will kill me in the future, but I understand that it will definitely infringe on my freedom/time/appearance/friends’ approval today!”

Check out the new research from Johns Hopkins University that builds upon this idea:

  • For 6 weeks, researchers posted signs near soda refrigerators in Baltimore stores that told purchasers it would take 50 minutes of running or 5 miles of walking to burn off the 250 calories in the soda they were about to buy.
  • Their report shows a decrease in the number of sodas purchased and an increase in the purchase of smaller sodas (click to see a great infographic of this experiment).
  • The results? Forty percent of those interviewed who noticed the signs said the information changed their decision about what they would buy.
  • Even better? The purchasing effects lasted 6 weeks after the signs were taken down.

But knowledge-increasing and behavior-nudging tools, like the researchers’ posters, are not new, you say. After all, app developers have bottled this idea before and applied it to some of our favorite mobile app downloads, showing us how poor diet decisions will eat away at our daily share of calories and how many Empire State Buildings we have “climbed” when we opt to use the stairs.

Infographic of comparison between calorie information and real-world impact of calories consumed.

The problem? Pulling out a phone and scanning the bar code of a soda to see what impact it will have on my life is an added barrier for those for whom “getting fit” is not top-of-mind and who would buy the drink without thinking twice. For these people, who are literally holding the information-laden nutrition facts in their hands, information is not power. “Calorie” does not mean anything, so its threat falls flat.

For that reason, I really like the researchers’ use, here, of “old-school” techniques (posters, for crying out loud!) to nudge buyers at the point-of-purchase. The purchase power is still in their hands and they still can choose to ignore the sign without taking additional actions, but now “calorie” has more meaning. Nearly everyone buying the soda will see the poster and be reminded how far and time-consuming a 5-mile walk is—finally giving that calorie a face and value. Their soda-purchasing behaviors may not change but, who knows, maybe it will influence their potato-chip intake or TV time or miles walked later. At least now we’ve presented them with information that actually may be relevant to their day-to-day life instead of continuing to list that intangible, not-so-threatening calorie count and expecting it to do all the work.

What do calories “look” like to you? What nudges you to make healthier decisions? Have you seen fear appeals or “old-school” message techniques with positive outcomes?

By Katy Capers

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Conducting Market Research? Check Out Some of Our New Favorite Tools

Know your audience!

The first rule across nearly all industries, accomplishing this feat is now easier with emerging tools that tap into today’s growing technological capabilities and capture what your target audience says, wants, and believes. And for health—where knowing what your audience thinks about personal health issues, what information they find most relevant, and how they feel about your brand specifically—this has been no easy accomplishment.

However, new tools span the gamut of information-gathering by tracking behavior, compiling online conversations around certain topics, and tapping into the value of community influencers. These innovative market research tools and others like them will continue to provide insight for health communicators in addressing audience needs.

Image of Curalate logo

Curalate. Through the use of image recognition algorithms, Curalate can identify user-generated images that matter to the audience and help organizations better understand what visuals resonate with them.

Why we like it: Users are communicating with visuals more and more. Ignoring images they share means ignoring valuable, volunteered information.

What this means for health communicators: Highlight the most relevant visuals on social networks and other Web properties to improve engagement.

Image of Truvio logo

Truvio. The Truvio platform allows instant access to the world’s largest panel of consumer health influencers, via the WEGO Health social network. Organizations have the ability to ask volunteer influencers about various health topics and conditions through the volunteer’s mobile phone. The volunteer’s voice response is recorded and archived for researchers.

Why we like it: Tapping into existing communities of health influencers means your respondents are eager to participate and share. Plus, nothing beats hearing the real voice of a real audience member!

What this means for health communicators: Capture the voice and opinions of real consumers for potential use in health campaigns, as well as use findings to inform future planning.

Image of CrazyEgg Logo

CrazyEgg. CrazyEgg has an advanced heat map tool that provides a snapshot of user behavior (on a specific Web site) that goes beyond Google Analytics functionality. Their deeper dive provides information on why users leave a site, what are the popular clicks, and where on the site your viewers are experiencing frustration.

Why we like it: No need for complicated user testing. Just add their code to your site and watch the results come flooding in.

What this means for health communicators: Gain a deeper understanding of user Web behavior and how to improve content based on click rates, navigation, and content selection.

Image of Treato logo

Treato. Treato uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to extract information about medications and health conditions discussed by patients online every day. NLP is able to extract relevant information from blogs and forums, and present it to patients on an ad-free platform without the use of medical jargon the user may not understand.

Why we like it: When patients have a problem with you (or your medication, diagnosis, etc.), they don’t always tell you to your face. Treato does the hard work and tracks down patient opinions where they are sharing them (and where you may have never looked).

What this means for health communicators: Compile patient opinions about specific conditions or medications from across the Web to increase personalization tactics and deliver relevant content based on audience inquiries.

By Katy Capers

Danya’s CEO Attends Corporate Council on Africa’s 9th Biennial U.S.-Africa Business Summit

cca 2013

The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) hosted its 9th Biennial U.S.-Africa Business Summit on October 8–11, 2013, in Chicago, Illinois. This 4-day conference brought together more than 1,000 public and private-sector representatives from more than 70 countries to discuss the importance of expanding private-sector trade and investment between the United States and the nations of Africa. The conference highlighted the key areas in which our members feel Africa presents its greatest case for investment: agribusiness, energy, health, security, infrastructure, capacity building, information and communications technology (ICT), and finance. Dr. Jeff Hoffman, Danya International’s CEO and former CCA Board Member, participated in the conference and met with several key officials from Ethiopia—where Danya is planning to set up its second East Africa office—including the Ethiopian Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Girma Birru, the Deputy Foreign Minister and State Minister Dawano Kedir, and the Director General of the Ethiopian Investment Agency Fitsum Arega to discuss Danya’s plans for investing and registering as a management consulting firm in Ethiopia. According to Dr. Hoffman, “This conference was a great opportunity to meet with some of the key Ethiopian government officials to help lay the groundwork for expanding Danya’s activities in East Africa. These officials offer a warm welcome to U.S. companies to invest and work in Ethiopia and will assist with navigating the process.” Dr. Hoffman also joined in the signing ceremony between Ethiopian Airlines and Boeing to announce their partnership to double-wire harness production at Ethiopian Airlines’ Wire Harness Facility. He had the opportunity to meet Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, and Kagnew Asfaw, Ethiopian Airlines Regional Director for the Americas, to congratulate them on the continued success of Ethiopian Airlines. “Ethiopian Airlines is one of the shining star companies in Africa and one of the best airlines in the world,” said Dr. Hoffman. “Having flown on one of the new Ethiopian 787 Dreamliners, I can say without a doubt that Ethiopian Airlines is operating a state-of-the-art airline company!” For more information about the CCA Summit see their website: http://www.cvent.com/events/9th-biennial-u-s-africa-business-summit/event-summary-70d14537c5b34b74944fe720f508eb77.aspx

By Melissa Jackson

YouTube Dishes Up Hilarious Halloween Treat

crest

Although new video tools like Vine, Viddy, and video for Instagram continue to pop up, YouTube is still king with more than 4 billion videos viewed each day and 700 shares on Twitter each minute. More and more brands are opting to leverage their power online instead of the traditional Monday Night Football or Nick at Night television commercial. Brands are tapping into YouTube as a message distribution channel, providing attractive content that’s easy to consume and on-time messages that can be viewed at home or on the go.

Just in time for All Hallows’ Eve, Crest toothpaste and Oral-B toothbrushes created a commercial for YouTube that shows children in a focus group tasting new “healthy Halloween treats.” Unfortunately for the excited children, the veggie fruit chews and lollipops came in flavors like asparagus, beet, artichoke, and tofu. But fortunately for nearly 3 million YouTube viewers (I’ve watched it at least five times), the commercial is a hilarious treat and reminder to keep teeth healthy during Halloween’s candy season.

In comments to Today.com, Rishi Dhingra, North America oral care marketing director for Procter & Gamble, the parent company of Crest and Oral-B, stated, “The children’s reactions were absolutely natural and unscripted.”  

Crest and Oral-B poke fun at veggie-flavored Halloween treats (guaranteed to get your colon going in the morning, kids!) and manage to remind parents to use their products to ensure their children’s teeth remain healthy after a night of sugar-filled treats.

The use of YouTube as a distribution channel makes the video—which has all the qualities of one to soon go viral—easy to share on other social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and dishes up a healthful reminder right in time for the target audience. Parents with young children can relate to the honesty (hilarity) of the children in the video and their lack of enthusiasm about eating vegetables (otherwise known as things that sound disgusting). Crest and Oral-B understand that parents are cautious about their kids eating candy but that most want their kids to live a little and enjoy all the sweet goodness that Halloween brings—which is, as the video shows, far better than the alternative. Ultimately, the message (“Nothing is more horrifying than Halloween without candy…thankfully there’s Crest and Oral-B”) resonates with anyone who views it. It is a reminder that a night out on the town (read: neighborhood) consuming candy is okay, as long as you brush your teeth afterward.

The video is just another way health-focused brands and organizations can use YouTube to spread their messages successfully with right-on-time interesting content. And it certainly gives the Danya ghouls and goblins a big grin!

By Kianta Key

Takeaways from Boston’s Games for Health Conference

Several Danya employees from Atlanta, GA, and Silver Spring, MD, attended the Games for Health Conference in Boston, MA, in late June. As I outlined in a recent Danya blog post, serious games and games for health are growing fields and are showing great potential for behavior change and improved health outcomes. After attending the conference, I was further convinced that games can be a powerful (and fun!) tool for both public health and health care professionals. People are currently creating games for nearly every health issue from chronic diseases to behavioral health and for various purposes from personal health improvement and treatment adherence to workforce training. Right now, the possibilities seem unlimited. Here are my five takeaways from the Games for Health Conference.

1. Serious games need to be seriously fun. As a health communicator with a public health background, I immediately think about the outcome the game is designed to achieve when I think about games for health. Games designed to improve health need to be effective, but the very premise of a game is to have fun. If a game isn’t fun, people won’t play it.

Depending on the audience of your game, fun may be even more vital. As Michael Fergusson, game designer at Ayogo explained, “A child’s illness and treatment is serious, but kids seriously need to have fun.” So, while serious games absolutely need to be designed around sound theory and accurate health information, it is just as important that they are also built to be engaging and entertaining to the targeted player.

2. Games can change the world. One of the most interesting sessions I went to discussed two games that use crowdsourcing to tackle huge public health challenges. The first is a game to help identify malaria cases called Malaria Spot. According to CDC, in 2010 there were about 219 million cases of malaria around the world and 660,000 deaths due to malaria. Currently, the process for correctly identifying a malaria case involves a certified health professional counting parasites in a blood sample, which can take up to 30 minutes. Since there are millions of cases, you can imagine the backlog in even identifying cases, let alone getting people treatment. The Malaria Spot concept, designed by Spanish scientist Miguel Luengo-Oroz, transforms this identification process into a game where players hunt real malaria parasites in a blood sample uploaded to the Internet. Luengo-Oroz has done the math and when 13 players hunt the same blood sample for 1 minute, the accuracy of identifying a malaria case is the same as an expert. He has also calculated that only 1% of current video game play time is all that it would take to identify all the cases of malaria worldwide! While there are still several questions to address by way of legality and ethics before this game can be fully implemented, this game could seriously change the world! To help support this creative solution and hunt malaria, visit the Malaria Spot website.

A similar idea was presented by Amy Carton of Cancer Research UK. The country’s leading cancer research center has a huge amount of data about cancer. While some data can be analyzed by computers, much of the data needs to be analyzed by human eyes; with limited human resources, they’ve got more data than they can analyze. To help solve this big data problem, Cancer Research UK is currently developing a game where players will be helping to analyze their data. The catch is, they want to create such a fun and engaging game that you will want to play it for fun’s sake, and you may never even know you’re helping their scientists unlock invaluable scientific findings.

3. The best games aren’t always digital. Another session I attended that really had me leaning forward was about non-digital games. Yes, you heard me right; board games and games like charades are not completely a thing of the past—who knew? The game developer Max Seidman, who works at Dartmouth’s Tiltfactor Lab, described a game called RePlay Health, which is a real-life strategy game designed to help people learn about the health care system. Through a guided role-playing game, players balance physical activities and their character’s health. Through different choices players must make that depend on their health, they can learn how all of the different pieces of a health care system work together. This game was designed not only to improve understanding of our (often confusing) health care system, but also to foster empathy among players.

So, while our world is undoubtedly becoming more and more digital, it is important to remember that mobile games aren’t the only option. In fact, one game created by Tiltfactor Lab found that their board game version had significantly better outcomes than their mobile version. The value of face-to-face interaction during a game is something that can’t quite be replicated in a digital game. While digital games often rely on feedback systems using complex formulas, the real-life interaction in non-digital games allows for a game to be fully understood by players, teaching systems thinking and potentially leading to richer outcomes.

4. Games are about an experience. An idea that was mentioned throughout the conference was that games are about creating and sharing experiences. This was most clearly communicated during the keynote presentation by Palmer Luckey of Oculus VR (i.e., “virtual reality” for all you non-gamers). Luckey created a cutting-edge virtual reality (VR) headset that is more lightweight and affordable than previous VR systems and helps draw the player even farther into the simulated environment created by the game. The realm of VR is pretty remarkable; it has the potential to achieve immersion, sensations, and even emotions unlike any other media platform. For example, a VR game can create a falling experience like no other video game. The players feel as if they themselves are falling, not an avatar representing them, and this can elicit a real falling sensation and even the emotional response of fear.

To me, a health communicator and inexperienced gamer, video games aren’t always very interesting because they can seem unrealistic. As Luckey describes VR, this “ultimate medium” has huge potential to achieve behavior change because it can engage a wider range of players with the reality factor and it has the potential to elicit emotions, a powerful behavior change tool. Visit the Oculus VR website for more information on the new headset and the growing realm of virtual reality.

5. Developing a good game takes a team, maybe even an army. While playing some games may be relatively easy, I learned that creating a game is certainly not simple. Especially in the serious games space, creating a game that aims to change behavior and impact health is quite complicated. Not only do you need an experienced game developer, as well as subject matter and behavior change experts in the specific health topic being addressed, but some of the most successful health games also gather substantial input from their target populations.

The creators of Remission2, the recently released update of a game designed to help kids adhere to cancer treatment, spent a significant amount of time talking to children with cancer about how they view cancer, how they view chemotherapy, what they would want to do to cancer, and more to create a game that correctly aligns with player beliefs and desires. While the first version of the game did achieve positive biological outcomes, including increased antibiotics and chemotherapy in the patient’s blood, Remission2 is already performing better in the areas of positive emotions, self-efficacy, and shifts in attitudes, thanks to user input.

Similarly, PlayForward, created by Yale’s Play2Prevent Initiative, is a game to prevent HIV in high-risk youth populations. The creators of the game discussed with teens in depth about their goals, community, and interests. As a result, this game has been shown to effectively improve protective factors among players.

The Games for Health Conference was certainly an enlightening one for our team members, and we’re excited to continue our own research and development within the games and health field. What are some of your favorite serious games? How are they fun, changing the world, or non-digital, and what type of experience do they provide you on your path to better health?

By Katie Mooney

Interactive Customized Advertisements for Health

How many advertisements do you see every day? Some researchers estimate that the average person sees as many as 5,000 advertisements per day, while others report that exposure is probably closer to 250 ads daily. Regardless of the actual number of ads you’re seeing, Bauer and Greyser suggest that most of us only really connect with a select few out of the hundreds we’re presented. Public health agencies seeking to stand out from the crowd with innovative, out-of-the-box campaigns should strongly consider developing an interactive custom ad for a real impact on their target audiences.

With the help of social sharing and advancing technologies, more and more brands are using technology to create interactive ads that deliver these enhanced, real-impact experiences. These types of ads engage through two-way communication. Some draw people in by soliciting a direct response, requesting some type of action from the participant, while other forms inspire engagement through personalized and localized elements. The following interactive ads are some of our favorites here at Danya that we think have been successful because creators utilized unique materials, chose unusual locations, or took advantage of new technologies to make a unique connection with their viewer:

Lenticular Printing by ANAR Foundation

The Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk (ANAR) Foundation used lenticular printing to show different anti-child-abuse messages to viewers of different heights. This technology allows different images to be seen depending on the vantage point. The billboard is designed to show the message “If somebody hurts you, phone us and we’ll help you” along with the ANAR Foundation’s telephone number when viewed by individuals (children) less than 1.3 meters (approximately 4 feet 3 inches). The message to adults reads, “Sometimes child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it.”

Worms Eating Dough Show “Crack Consumes”

The Brazilian alliance of Partnership for a Drug Free America’s posted several billboards made of dough at “Galeria do Rock,” a popular place for youth. As observers walked by, they saw worms eat through the advertisement, illustrating the point that “Crack Consumes.”

Interactive Long Film

The Australian Air Force used an interactive long film. On the site, users can click on almost any object in the video to receive more information.

Ads 1 and 2

Coca-Cola’s “Small World Machines”

“Small World Machines” invited Indians and Pakistanis to interact by completing simple tasks like waving, touching hands, drawing a peace sign, or doing a dance to receive a Coke. Participants could watch each other complete the engagement because of 3D touchscreen technology that projected and captured a streaming live video feed onto the vending machine screen.

Volkswagen’s “Slowmercial”

DDB Brussels illustrates a new concept, the slowmercial, a form of television advertisement where the action on the screen has little to no movement. The creators of the commercial are trying to develop a solution that counteracts the fast-forwarding that is now common for DVR television users. Because of the static nature of the slowmercial, even when viewers fast-forwarded the commercial, they will still see the ad as if it were developed for print.


 HeartRescue Simulates Cardiac Arrest

The HeartRescue Project, funded by the Medtronic Foundation, has developed an interactive online video that gives viewers a choice about what actions to take to progress the video and save a life. The creators are illustrating to viewers the steps they should take if faced with a sudden cardiac arrest situation.

Ads 3

Obviously, some of these ads were very risky (did you see the worms in the Partnership for America ad?). However, perhaps the message to public health is to take some risk. Interactive ads are a rich medium that allow designers to be inventive and to think about the unexpected. Although risky may not always translate into an effective message delivery, these ads do prove that more often than not, interactive ads can create buzz, catalyze interaction, and provide opportunities for creative solutions that reach audiences in new ways. These elements are crucial in the competitive world of message delivery, and public health should take advantage.

By Tracye Poole

Summer Homework: Play Video Games (for Health!)

School is out and summer is here! For many kids, this means replacing 6 hours of school with 6 hours of video games. Although a utopia for many teenage boys and even many teen girls (97% of teens age 12–17 play video games), this extra time spent in front of a screen is often viewed by public health practitioners and parents as a tragedy. However, a new type of game has emerged—games with purpose beyond entertainment or “serious” games—and, with more evidence surfacing every day about their effectiveness, we can now actually encourage our kids to play games. With increasing awareness of the childhood obesity epidemic and the growing innovation behind games designed to improve health, it may not be so difficult to get our kids active during summer break!

Health behaviors, especially physical activity, can be very difficult to change. These behaviors are learned over a lifetime and are influenced by a range of factors, including environment, family, social norms, awareness, and more. To overcome such barriers, public health practitioners are partnering with gaming experts and behavioral scientists. Together, they are developing new, innovative strategies to increase physical activity and improve health through games—and it’s working!

Zamzee, created by HopeLab to combat childhood obesity and prevent chronic disease, is one such game making significant strides in increasing children’s physical activity levels. Zamzee is a small device that kids carry with them throughout the day to measure their physical activity. The device then communicates with a gamified website that displays the child’s physical activity data, provides points based on the amount of movement, and allows kids to select rewards. HopeLab, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, completed a dozen scientific studies on Zamzee and found that the game increased physical activity by 59 percent and improved risk factors associated with chronic diseases.

Zamzee Tracker

Zamzee Tracker

Zamzee Web site

Zamzee Web site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, how does it work? HopeLab explains the outcomes through their focus on both extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. The extrinsic rewards, points and gift cards, help motivate kids to initiate physical activity, while the intrinsic rewards, the positive experiences children gain through physical activity and participation in Zamzee, help sustain the behavior change over time. In other words, these rewards work to increase perceived benefits and reduce perceived barriers—determinants of behavior change in the Health Belief Model, a behavior change theory widely used in the public health field. The extrinsic rewards and intrinsic rewards, such as successfully becoming more active (mastery), achieving goals (purpose), and interacting with similar users (relatedness) increase the perceived benefits of physical activity. Other intrinsic rewards, like feeling confident in one’s abilities (competence) and gaining independence (autonomy) reduce the perceived barriers to physical activity. Together, these rewards increase the likelihood that the user will engage in a preventive health behavior, physical activity in this case.

In a study on exergames conducted by Georgetown University and sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, scientists found similarly encouraging results. Exergames, which have become quite popular, are a category of video games like Nintendo’s Wii EA Sports Active that require physical activity to play. The study examined health impacts in overweight and obese high school students who regularly participated in exergames. Results showed that students who engaged in cooperative exergames lost an average of 3.6 pounds over the 20-week study period versus the control group, which gained an average of 1.9 pounds.

Exergames

Exergames

Again, these results can be explained through the constructs of behavior change theory. The Theory of Planned Behavior, another behavior change model popular in public health work, identifies intention as the predecessor to action. The theory outlines three determinants of intention, including an individual’s beliefs about the actual behavior, what they perceive other people believe about the behavior (subjective norm), and their perceived ability to perform the behavior. Students in this study gained self-efficacy through successfully becoming more active, and peer support by participating in cooperative games as opposed to competitive games. These factors improved perceived behavior control and the subjective norm, respectively. Together, these changes influenced the students’ intention, which ultimately determined their behavior.

Games increasing physical activity in children are only the beginning; many other audiences and health issues are the target of games currently in the market. Lumosity, a game created for all ages to promote brain health, has been shown to improve brain functions, such as cognition and memory, among others. Re-Mission, another game created and extensively studied by HopeLab, is a game that improves childhood cancer outcomes by helping kids adhere to their treatment plans. A 2008 randomized control trial of Re-Mission showed increases in both knowledge and self-efficacy by playing the game, and a recent 2012 brain-imaging study showed increased neural responses that are typically associated with reward and positive motivation. And one of my favorites, Zombies, Run!, motivates players to run, in real life, as they try to escape a quickly approaching, virtual zombie attack.

Lumosity

Lumosity

Re-Mission

Re-Mission

Zombies, Run!

Zombies, Run!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The field of serious games has great potential to impact public health, especially with the current vast adoption of mobile, self-tracking, and movement-sensing technologies. To successfully create a game that achieves behavior change and impacts health status, evidence-based behavior change models must inform its design. The serious games movement is demonstrating how the difficulties of behavior change can be overcome through creative application of theory and innovation in an already successful field. So before we ban our kids from video games during the summer months, let’s look into what games might keep them entertained while also improving their health!

Our mission here at Danya is to provide innovative solutions for social impact. We work to provide products and services that meet user needs and expectations and operate with technology already in use. As the field of serious games continues to expand, Danya will certainly be looking for opportunities to incorporate this innovative solution to achieve meaningful, public health impact.

By Katie Mooney

Fun Vine Video Styles for Public Health

The new mobile video app, Vine, burst onto the social media scene in late January 2013 when Twitter acquired and integrated it into their microblogging site. A free video-sharing platform, Vine has distinguished itself in the social space by relying on brevity with videos limited to 6 seconds in length. Much like early adopters of Twitter, Vine users have dazzled viewers with just how much creativity, innovation, and information they can pack into one 6-second clip. Resource-strapped groups can use the app to record and publish engaging content—all within one app.

While questions surfaced in mid-February regarding the new tool’s security, GSA approved the use of Vine by federal users, and several videos have emerged in recent weeks from across agencies, including NASA, the Interior Department, and Health.Data.gov. So, not to be outdone, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite Vine styles below for use within public health.

The Sketch Artist

This video style is great for representing checklists, textual information like hashtags and weblinks, and showcasing the development of other visuals like brainstorming sessions.

Public health use case: CDC’s NPIN used the sketch artist style by merging several quick recordings together to show development of a checklist for their webcast series.

NPIN Vine 1

(Click on image above to view Vine video)

The Magician

Stop-motion recording is a great way to condense action that happens over an extended, more-than-6-second period of time, by suggesting the movement of inanimate objects using quick clips.

Public health use case: Youth Against AIDS followers showed the elimination of HIV with a Pac-man-style head eating away at the word representing it.

NPIN Vine 2

(Click on image above to view Vine video)

The Tour Guide

Viewers love getting a sneak peek, so give them the inside scoop by previewing event preparations, product rollouts, or by giving tours of your office.

Public health use case: CDC’s NPIN generated buzz about their upcoming webcast by showing the set-up process of equipment required for the event.

NPIN Vine 3

(Click on image above to view Vine video)

The Teacher

With these short, looping videos, Vine is great for showing viewers how to perform simple but important behaviors, like how to lay a baby in a crib or how to make a fruit smoothie.

Public health use case: This Vine’r teaches viewers a quick and easy way to get energy at work by running in place.

NPIN Vine 4

(Click on image above to view Vine video)

The Prop Master

Using a prop in a video is a great way to easily represent big ideas quickly, especially when paired with a statistic to increase health topic awareness.

Public health use case: This Vine’r slowly reveals a tobacco death rate statistic (“Tobacco kills every 6 seconds”) with a burning cigarette. (We also really like their clever incorporation of a statistic that also relates to the video length.)

NPIN Vine 5

(Click on image above to view Vine video)

Bonus: The Mini-sode

We haven’t found a public health version of it yet, but we’d love to see your ideas about how to create a series of related Vine episodes. These Tribeca Film Festival finalists, however, show some adventures of a Lego Batman, book beetle, and wooden Pygmalion characters.

By Katy Capers