US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s HEADS UP Branding and Evaluation Process
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US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s HEADS UP Branding and Evaluation Process

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  • Alternative Title:
    Health Educ J
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    For 15 years, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) HEADS UP education campaign has focused on increasing awareness of concussion among children to reduce adverse outcomes from this injury.


    To keep pace with the rapid expansion in media coverage, research, state laws and education efforts on concussion, the CDC embarked on a comprehensive evaluation effort to assess the campaign’s brand.


    The CDC conducted a multi-step process to evaluate HEADS UP. This included surveying partner organisations and focus groups targeting key audiences.


    The analysis demonstrated that most (70%) partner organisations have used the materials for 4 years or longer and more than half (51%) found the materials very useful or extremely useful. Focus groups with the campaign’s target audiences yielded insights and opportunities to refresh the CDC HEADS UP brand. The need for more compelling images, prevention facts and use of eye-catching colours was signaled by all the campaign’s target audiences. Updates focused on the use of data visualisation, more emotionally compelling images, and more engaging colours. The CDC also created a new tagline to focus on concussion prevention that encourages children and young people to think about protecting their brains from concussion so they can have a safer future.


    This paper describes the process used to update the branding of an educational health promotion campaign in order to meet the needs of key audiences. Findings can help others working to keep their educational campaigns relevant and aligned with an expanding and changing public health problems.

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