Maryland Department of Health: Diabetes Action Plan


The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) is dedicated to protecting and improving the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management and community engagement.

As part of MDH’s five-year Diabetes Action Plan, the IMPACT Team was thrilled to work with the Center for Population Health Initiatives to help tackle this deadly, chronic disease by focusing on awareness of prediabetes.


The primary objective of the Diabetes Action Plan was to drive people to a website and take a one-minute quiz to determine their prediabetes risk.

There were two main components of our work:

  1. Research, Messaging Development, and Online Focus Group Testing
  2. Graphic Design for billboards and static & animated digital ads (in English and Spanish)

Following our initial research into the types of messaging that would most likely spur people to action, we devised a series of compelling headlines, body copy, and imagery for our clients’ review and input.

Our research showed that our messaging and imagery should focus on: 1) the ease and limited time required to determine one’s risk; and 2) the positive lifestyle attributes that someone can enjoy if they avoid developing type 2 diabetes.

We then developed multiple messaging approaches with strong headlines, subheadlines, and calls-to-action for client review. Once the client chose their four favorite options, we conducted online polling of 500 Marylanders within our target demographics.

100% of our subjects considered themselves overweight and spent most of their day sitting or lying down. We were careful to ensure our survey population equitably reflected Maryland’s diverse racial/ethnic composition and took steps to include underrepresented communities. Additional audience demographics collected included number of children, employment status, marital status, etc.

Based on the feedback of our survey participants, our creative development encompassed two themes:

  • A fun, time-focused approach that contrasted how long it takes to do certain easily recognizable activities with the mere 60 seconds it takes to know your risk of diabetes
  • A similar time-based approach highlighting all the other great things you can do with your day after taking the simple one-minute survey to understand your risk.

The latter campaign intentionally—yet subtly—highlighted what people might end up missing if they develop type 2 diabetes. Examples of both approaches are shown below. These examples are for our Facebook ads, so they do not contain the website address to complete the quiz. Instead, in accordance with best practices, a user simply clicked on the ad to complete the quiz. This information was provided in the copy that accompanied the social media ads. The billboards contained the web address.


For this project, IMPACT provided all of the creative work but another company did the media buy, so we do not have much detail on final results. But the client reported that they were very happy, we had thousands of Marylanders learn the risk of prediabetes, and our Facebook posts were #2 among the many dozens of posts across the Maryland Department of Health.