Creating and producing a national idea-based bracket competition designed to attract an engaged community of bold thinkers and high-value ideas for an innovative new government agency that was established to change health outcomes for all Americans.
H&S proposed a national idea-based bracket competition designed to highlight the agency’s mission and drive participation among health professionals, advocates, and patients across the country. The Dash to Accelerate Health Outcomes, ARPA-H Dash, invited the community to submit an idea with the potential to transform health with a simple, evidence-based entry form. After review by ARPA-H, 64 ideas were seeded into brackets and opened to the public for commenting and voting — winnowing the brackets to four semifinalists and a final, winning idea.
H&S designed and supported the competition and solicited influencers with a robust, multi-channel promotional strategy that included customized digital assets for the ARPA-H Dash, web pages, social media art cards, newsletters, podcasts, and videos. All of which created a dynamic and agile digital media ecosystem. The competition saw participation from all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia.
ARPA-H Dash promotions were strategically blanketed across social channels, paid ads, and email newsletters with content optimized for the channels on which they appeared. Consistent, unified messaging guided audiences through the phases of the competition from entry to voting and ensured clear understanding of the call to action for each phase.
The Exceptional Eight quarterfinalists were diverse, high-caliber professionals and patient advocates who supported their ideas by responding to questions and comments online and promoting their ideas across their own channels and networks.
Participants came from all 50 states, represented a variety of professional and academic institutions, and had expertise in disciplines ranging from bioengineering to mental health. Above is a partial, representative list of participating institutions.
The contest was approved and launched within seven weeks. H&S had four weeks to build awareness, solicit participants and submit ideas to ARPA-H for the brackets. We achieved millions of brand impressions and received hundreds of ideas to transform health from a highly qualified audience.
ARPA-H received the intangible benefits of brand awareness and social spread within the constituencies they wanted to reach. Additionally they were introduced to new potential program manager candidates and shortlisted several submissions for potential funding. By generating hundreds of ideas in a few weeks, the ARPA-H Dash proved a fast, efficient method of accelerating and advancing technical discussion within a qualified community for mutual benefit