if a picture’s worth 1,000 calories, what’s a video worth?

July 13, 2010

in communication,health communication,wellness

if the print campaign was so successful, new york’s health department reasoned, wouldn’t a video just bring it home?


so they took this very startling and very controversial subway ad and turned it into a video.

the video follows the same script as the print campaign: hit the emotions, not the head. but does it work? not for me. instead of being grossed out by the concept of putting gobs of fat into my body, i’m grossed out by the video itself, and i turn away.

communication lesson: what works in one medium doesn’t always work in another.


Leave a Comment

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Roche July 13, 2010 at 7:35 am

Powerful. That gets at what the Heaths called “The Elephant.” Nice…and yucky.


fran July 13, 2010 at 7:44 am

true, and companies can easily “shape the path” at work by removing soda from cafeterias and vending machines. i still prefer the print campaign. even here, some things are better left to the imagination.



Janet McNichol July 13, 2010 at 10:30 am

I agree with you. The print campaign works, I cringed and turned away when I watched the video. I wonder what reaction my teenage sons would have? I’ll have to ask them. Maybe the video appeals to a different audience.


Elizabeth July 13, 2010 at 10:43 am

Oh YUCK! My “elephant” just threw up! I agree, can’t watch it.


fran July 13, 2010 at 4:12 pm

janet, your sons will probably think it’s gross-cool.

elizabeth, your elephant threw up. ha!



Jill Sherer Murray July 14, 2010 at 11:31 am

My Rider is trying to figure out a) what they used to create the “fat” which looks more like vomit and b) how they could have built on the print concept to make video more effective. Not quite as gross, but still powerful…

Great post, as always Fran!


Janet McNichol July 14, 2010 at 10:33 pm

My 17-year-old son said the video was more effective because it’s nastier.


fran July 15, 2010 at 6:44 am

i’m not surprised! if they’re trying to reach teens, they’re probably set.



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