According to the CDC, Michigan is the fifth heaviest state in the nation, with 67% of its adult population overweight or obese. This costs the state billions in medical costs each year. The Michigan Department of Community Health asked us to create a comprehensive multimedia campaign to encourage Michigan residents to lose weight. Our research led us to recommend a weight loss goal of 10% of body weight—a goal that, though modest and unintimidating, would significantly improve risk factors for chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.
The overall campaign, called MI Healthier Tomorrow, focused on brand engagement and was integrated across multiple channels. Promoting through television, radio and more, we asked Michigan residents to sign a pledge to lose 10% on a specially designed microsite. We sent them a starter kit full of helpful tips, a shopping guide, coupons and free gifts. We engaged them with a dedicated Facebook page, inspirational and educational text messages and emails. In addition, we formed a wide-array of community partnerships to support their efforts. McDonald's, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, Compuware, Quicken Loans, Huntington Bank, William Beaumont Hospital, the YMCA, Meijer and others partnered with us to broaden the reach of this critical effort to improve the health of our state.
To date, more than 32,000 Michigan residents have taken the pledge, most receiving starter kits and regular emails. Many have connected on Facebook to offer each other additional support and encouragement. Most importantly, Michigan has dropped from the 5th fattest state to the 11th fattest state.