The 10 finalists for the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) YouTube Flu Prevention PSA contest have been announced and posted on Flu.Gov. You can now vote here through September 16th for the winner who will receive a $2500 prize (and whose PSA will be featured on national television).
The finalists are all good and their entries are better produced than I would have thought. Each makes useful H1N1 points in creative ways. And, the idea of asking the public to create PSA’s allows for more pushing of boundaries than if a government agency produced them. It is unlikely that the government would be able to show a man wielding a chainsaw through the streets to illustrate a version of ’social distancing’ as one of the finalists does.
According to the rules set out in HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ own video on YouTube, contestants were asked to: “Create a 15, 30, or 60 second video Public Service Announcement (PSA) that will inform and motivate people to take steps that will help prevent the spread of the flu. Make your video fun, smart, and entertaining.”
Though I thought all the finalists were effective, only one video can win. So, in consultation with my two young daughters (my YouTube consultants), this blog picks “H1N1 Rap By Dr. Clarke” (see his entry below). In his video, Dr. Jon Clarke, in shades, raps about H1N1 prevention before concluding a little more soberly and without the sunglasses. We thought the combination was effective. If he is chosen, Clarke could be the breakout video star of the Fall.
“H1N1 RAP BY DR. CLARKE” (ABOVE). A FINALIST IN THE FLU.GOV H1N1 PSA CONTEST
It turns out that Clarke is a family physician in New York City with a music degree — and puts both credentials to good use in his entry. His YouTube page shows that he’s also rapped on behalf of diabetes awareness.
To watch all the finalists and vote go to the entry site here.
You can also view the entire group of 242 judged entries here. Most of these provide a more homemade video feel and are filled with kids, superheroes, and pigs. Some are also pretty effective. This one (below) called “Barnyard Conference” was a favorite among my kids, and it’s pretty funny (though it may not help efforts to replace the term “swine flu” with H1N1!).
ONE OF THE FLU CONTEST ENTRIES, “BARNYARD CONFERENCE” (ABOVE)
In all, I think that soliciting, unleashing and highlighting creativity from Americans with a desire to help on flu prevention — and from of a variety of ages, backgrounds, and points of view — was a terrific idea. It is fun, citizen-driven/focused, and most importantly should be effective in raising flu preparedness among the public. By the way, if you disagree with my selection please tell me why you picked one of the other finalists (or preferred one of the other 232 entries) instead.