A health authority has gone viral hoping that a humorous sexy vampire short film streamed on YouTube will get young patients through the doors of local NHS dentists.
Using the video-sharing site, NHS Northamptonshire has posted an advert that features a raunchy scene which goes horribly wrong when a vampire’s female victim flags up his bad breath.
Amanda Borland, Northamptonshire NHS’ primary care contract manager led the team responsible for the project which led to the creation fo the short film, Mouth Wide Open.
She says: ‘A humorous viral approach is great way to get our message across to the approximately 40,000 young people in the county that have not visited a dentist in the last two years.
‘We want them to understand the importance, and know how easy it is to find a dentist and get a check up every year. You do not have to register with a dentist and you can change your dentist whenever you like. This innovative approach has created a positive interest from the SHA, the Department of Health and other NHS regions.’
The film – which is tagged ‘Want a dentist after dark? Text ‘dentist’ to 64746 to find your nearest NHS dentist’ – has generated so much interest it’s already clocked 6,000 hits.
As part of NHS Northamptonshire’s research, a large proportion of people aged between 18-24 were found not to be visiting a dentist.
From a population of around 60,000 people in this age group approximately two-thirds (40,000) had not attended within the last two years.
This information helped the team develop a targeted campaign to the relevant audience. It held several focus groups across the county, with a range of young people from various backgrounds.
The aim of the focus groups was to find out why this audience was not accessing NHS dentistry, and what would prompt them to go. Of these:
• 92.6% of those asked said vanity
• 96.3% said bad breath
• 85.2% attracting potential partners
The focus groups also told the team virtually all participants said YouTube was their favourite video-sharing site.
For them to pass a viral film onto their friends, it would have to be funny, sexy or gory. From this feedback, the concept was created.
At the end of the viral, viewers can text the number that is shown to receive a free SMS your nearest three NHS dentists.
NHS Northamptonshire says that the benefits of a viral campaign are:
• It reaches the target audience
• It has a long shelf life
• It can continue over a long period of time, having a ‘pay it forward’ effect
• It can be promoted through so many different avenues.
Since its launch in December, it has attracted 6,000 ‘hits’.
The Department of Health has promoted it as an example of innovative good practice improving access, other SHAs and PCTs have shown interest in the campaign.
Success is being measured by the Business Services Authority figures on an ongoing basis to ascertain if access has improved.