Oklahoma City

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Four years after residents were challenged to lose the weight, 47,000 people had gone to the official website, and the city reached its goal of losing one million pounds.

Oklahoma City had a longstanding reputation as one of the country’s most obese cities. When a Men’s Fitness article ranked it as one of America’s fattest cities, it was the final straw for Mayor Mick Cornett. He decided to tackle the issue head on.

Mayor Cornett believed that drawing attention to the problem was the first step toward confronting the issue and called a press conference to put the entire city “on a diet.” The challenge to Oklahoma City residents—collectively lose one million pounds.

The Solution.
Crosby~Volmer partnered with Mayor Cornett to launch an all-encompassing media campaign promoting the Oklahoma City Diet. Messaging focused on all the positive things happening in the city, as it was gathering serious momentum as a “big league city” with quality jobs, low cost-of-living, new industries and a revitalized cultural and entertainment infrastructure. The campaign turned national attention to the positive initiatives happening in OKC, rather than to its obesity ranking. We kicked off the campaign by sending reporters a FedEx package containing the launch press release, adorned with a photo of a half-eaten donut, and a body mass index (BMI) calculator to announce and promote the “OKC Million.” Crosby~Volmer coordinated on-air interviews with national TV networks in addition to securing print and online placements with local and trade publications.

The Results.
Mayor Cornett and the citywide diet were featured on “Ellen,” NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” FOX News, MSNBC and CNN. Mayor Cornett was featured in several national magazines, including Men’s Fitness (which originally ranked Oklahoma City among its fattest cities), The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, countless major dailies, NPR and virtually every national radio network. Mayor Cornett even began penning a health blog.

Four years after residents were challenged to lose the weight, 47,000 people had gone to the official “This City Is Going On A Diet” website, and the city reached its goal of losing one million pounds in January 2012. The syndicated “Rachel Ray” show was on hand for the announcement. Out of the hundreds of articles resulting from the initiative, the icing on the cake was an article placed in Men’s Fitness. And this time, the magazine put the city on a much different list – one of “America’s Fittest Cities.”

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