American Idol it’s not…

…but a Mayo Clinic physician, Janet Vittone, M.D., has been named one of five finalists in an magazine contest called “Picture of Health” for women over age 40 who have overcome an illness or otherwise inspired members of their community to make healthy choices. See the ABCNewsNow interview here.

Voting is on-line, and as of this moment there have been a total of 1,978 votes cast, which is probably about 8 seconds worth of voting in American Idol.

Dr. Vittone had previously been featured on Mayo Clinic’s web site. The Rochester Post-Bulletin also did a story today on the contest and her participation.
This contest demonstrates several trends shaping media:

User-generated content, as each contestant uploaded a one-minute video during the first two months of 2007. Reportedly several hundred women entered or were entered by their loved ones. All of that content was free to ABC and to Prevention, and they used it to sell advertising.

Audience involvement, with people voting for their favorites. This is a little different from other contests like American Idol, because in essence you have five women who have either beaten a disease or engaged a community in health behaviors. There’s no Sanjaya in the bunch. Which saintly woman do you choose?

Partnerships for cross-promotion. Prevention and are building traffic and interest for each other, and with the announcement of finalists on Good Morning America, they got a nice additional cross-promotion.

Lots of web video that wouldn’t make air. When you go to the contest site you have options to see at least three videos of each contestant (each of which has a SlimFast ad). The whole Good Morning America introduction segment was about three minutes. But because you don’t need to appeal to a mass audience on the web, you can provide more in-depth video for those who are interested. (I would suggest, though, that ABC might want to reconsider whether playing the same ad before each video is a good idea. I would watch more of them if I didn’t have to see the “Hippy Hippy Shake” ad for a full 30 seconds each time. I likely would be more favorably disposed toward the advertiser, too, if every one-minute video wasn’t preceded by a 30-second ad.)

It will be interesting to follow this and see how many people are participating.

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Author: Lee Aase

Husband of one, father of six, grandfather of 15. Chancellor Emeritus, SMUG. Emeritus staff of Mayo Clinic. Founder of HELPcare and Administrator for HELPcare Clinic.

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