Working with Celebrities for Issues Advocacy

Chronic kidney disease is a silent epidemic in the United States. More than 30 million Americans are living with kidney disease, which untreated, can ultimately progress to irreversible kidney failure. Once an individual reaches kidney failure, they can only be treated through life-sustaining dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant. The kidney care community recognized the need to increase awareness about the disease and encourage at-risk individuals to get tested – and sought out a prominent public figure to help expand the reach of that message.

Leveraging Celebrity Involvement to Raise Awareness

In 2013, the kidney community identified two key spokespeople for this effort: seven-time NBA All-star Alonzo Mourning and actor and comedian George Lopez, both kidney transplant recipients. In exchange for donations to Zo’s Fund for Life and the Lopez Foundation, Alonzo Mourning and George Lopez agreed to participate in a scripted public service announcement with a simple message: “Know your risk, get tested, and stay off dialysis.”

Results

In the six months since after the PSA’s release, it was broadcast 7,575 times, with over 37 million media impressions and a total media value of $1,421,350. Alonzo Mourning and George Lopez remain dedicated advocates for kidney care and continue to work closely with the kidney community today.