Emoji sexual health campaign earns NYC Health + Hospitals Shorty Award

NYC Health + Hospitals received a Shorty Award for its preventive health campaign promoting sexual health to young adults with emojis on social media.

In a news release, the health system said it was recognized twice at the Ninth Annual Shorty Awards Brands & Organizations competition. Its campaign received "winner" status in the "emojis" category, which takes into account public voting and jury scores, the release states. The health system said it also received "audience honor" recognition in the "emojis" category, based on online voting.

NYC Health + Hospitals shared the recognition with VGD marketing an ad agency in New York City, which worked with the health system to develop the campaign.

Ann Ormsby, senior director of brand implementation and marketing at NYC Health + Hospitals, called the recognition "humbling."

"We recognized the opportunity social media provided to reach New York City adolescents, and while this was a bit of a stretch outside our traditional comfort zone, our campaign spoke to teens in a way they understand," she said in a prepared statement.

The campaign targeted New Yorkers aged 12 to 21 years to promote sexual and reproductive healthcare services offered at the health system's 20 special YouthHealth locations.

As part of the campaign, young New Yorkers started seeing messages with popular emojis. The emojis, on Facebook, Instagram and other platforms, include an eggplant and a peach that appear with the words: "Need to talk to someone about 'it'?" A monkey emoji with its hands over its mouth offers advice on how to get confidential access to emergency contraception.

By clicking on the emojis, users are taken to a new youth health services website with information on services available at the clinics, locations and phone numbers.

According to the release, the health system saw an increase in adolescent patient visits to multiple locations following the campaign.



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