Date of Defense:
February 5, 2015
Introduction: The melanoma rate for Non – Hispanic White Females age 20 – 49 years old in Minnesota is increasing 4% per year. Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, can be deadly. Tanning indoors before the age of 35 increases risk of skin cancer by 60 – 80% or more. Despite these risks, 34% of 11th grade white non – Hispanic females in Minnesota tanned indoors within the past year.
Methods: The UVideo Challenge is a contest for Minnesota high school students to develop a 30 second video on the dangers of tanning. The Challenge was part of a multi – component community – wide intervention to prevent skin cancer.
The evaluation of the UVideo Challenge answered the following questions:
- were the activities to recruit promoters and students successful;
- what was the level of student participation; and
- did press releases create earned media?
Results: An educational webinar that launched the UVideo motivated a majority of participants to take action to either promote the Challenge or share information on risks of indoor tanning. The Challenge did not generate earned media. Other communication channels (e.g. exhibiting at conferences, promoting free Challenge materials on the Challenge website) also had very limited success in reaching the target audience.
Only 13 students submitted videos. Yet these videos with teen developed messages about tanning were viewed by thousands of teens during the online voting period and as TV ad spots on the Vampire Diaries.
Conclusion: A high school video contest can be a vehicle to share teen – developed messages about the dangers of tanning.