A TV commercial promoting chiropractic will be shown during the 2020 Tokyo Games Olympic broadcast schedule
A commercial during the Super Bowl is the pinnacle of advertising reach, drawing more than 100 million viewers in the U.S. alone and then multiplying in perpetuity on digital platforms — but for millions of dollars for 30 seconds of air time, the price tag is out of reach for many nonprofits and foundations.
Sherry McAllister, DC, executive vice-president of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), was used to seeing the Super Bowl deadline, and opportunity, pass.
“Each year without fail, the foundation receives inquiries about producing and airing a commercial to appear during the Super Bowl,” she said.
Last year another Super Bowl came and went before another opportunity for what McAllister describes as a “never-before-seen” big event came into view — commercials promoting chiropractic during another premier sporting event, the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Coinciding with this year’s 125th anniversary of chiropractic, the Olympic broadcast schedule seemed the perfect way to globally promote chiropractic to a sports-minded audience.
“The time frame couldn’t have aligned more perfectly,” said McAllister, who now needed a funding partner.
Increase visibility, promote chiropractic enrollment
The concept was a commercial focusing not only on educating the public about chiropractic, “but also grabbing the attention of individuals who may be considering a career in a health care field like chiropractic,” McAllister said. “The future of this profession lies in the hands of its current students and those who are considering a career in health care.”
Supporting funding came from numerous sources, but primary funding eventually came in the form of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. The NBCE administers standardized written and practical examinations for candidates seeking chiropractic licensure throughout the U.S. and in several foreign countries. The NBCE funds organizations, events and research grants throughout the chiropractic industry, but had never OKed funding for anything of this scope.
“Originally I was contacted by a member of the F4CP and I invited them to come and do their presentation as part of our board meeting agenda,” says NBCE President Daniel Cote. “They gave us a presentation and explained their case. It was so well received that we gave them quite a bit more than what they were asking for because we really believed in the project. After the presentation they took a campus tour, and we had approved the project before they came back. It was a great idea and an excellent opportunity for the profession in general.”
The gift that will keep giving
McAllister is astounded when she thinks of the reach of an Olympic audience and the campaign’s potential.
“I can honestly say that we have never done something on this scale before,” she said. “The 30-second chiropractic commercial is set to air five times during the 2020 Summer Olympics and is expected to reach 204 million individuals. Let that sink in. This doesn’t include all of the views the commercial will receive from our individual members sharing the file to their practice websites or social media pages.”
Cote says the commercial will be available for free following the completion of the Olympic broadcast schedule.
“One of the things we made sure of in the agreement was that the commercial will be available to all different kinds of chiropractic groups and chiropractors for free after the Olympics,” he said. “We said, ‘We’ll pay for this commercial, but it has to be available.’ Chiropractors and universities can use this commercial to showcase the benefits of chiropractic and a career in chiropractic on social media, websites, newsletters, practice reception rooms, etc.”
Sports chiropractic in focus during Olympic broadcast schedule
The F4CP has quickly become the spokes-organization for the industry, growing from roughly 8,000 members three years ago to more than 28,000 today, offering a wide variety of media and marketing materials, “Find a Doctor” services, videos, webinars, PowerPoint presentations, podcasts, tip sheets, white papers, brochures and Opioid Toolkits for doctors of chiropractic.
Founded in November 2003 by Kent S. Greenawalt, CEO of Foot Levelers Inc., the not-for-profit F4CP’s mission is to educate the public about chiropractic care through positive press.
“The F4CP has done a fantastic job in the past years bringing to the forefront chiropractic as a first-line approach to opioids,” Cote said. “I have a ton of patients that come to my office for pain, but then they also realize they can come in for the 10K they’re going to run. Or that their kids could come here and they’re high school athletes and they can perform better. This is a great opportunity to show that athletes, not only people that are in terrible back or neck pain, can use chiropractic in an efficient and beneficial manner.”
In addition to fighting the opioid epidemic, F4CP in 2020 will roll out their “Optimizing Performance” campaign, featuring high-profile athletes touting the benefits of chiropractic care in videos, on social media and more.
“We are also working on building-out new material for our monthly PR and marketing themes,” McAllister says. “They include but are not limited to chiropractic care and falls prevention, pediatrics, efficacy of chiropractic, veterans and military care, and as always, drug-free pain management awareness, among others.”
NBCE in transition
Changes are also in store at the NCBE, where Cote says the partnership taking part in the Olympics broadcast schedule is the beginning of the organization making a culture shift toward greater collaboration.
“We’re really opening up where we show we appreciate the profession and all its depth,” he says. “We have a chiropractic social responsibility that we’re understanding a lot more now in the past year, and we’re really changing the culture. We have this wave that we’re riding right now, and we have to push that further. We just want to promote chiropractic, and 10 of 11 of us around the [board] table are chiropractors. The profession has been good to all of us, and we want to perpetuate that.”
RICK VACH (firstname.lastname@example.org) is editor-in-chief of Chiropractic Economics magazine.