This year's Emmy Award for National Public Service Announcements (PSAs) goes to "Looking for the Fountain of Youth?" produced by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and Vilsack Productions.
The Emmy Award, sponsored by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), was presented at a black tie banquet on August 25 in New York City as part of the Academy's Community and Public Service Awards program. It is the first Emmy in the National PSA category to be awarded to the Federal government.
NIA, part of the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, produced "Looking for the Fountain of Youth?" to get the word out that substances such as melatonin, DHEA, and human growth hormone haven't been proven to extend life and may be associated with serious side effects.
Vilsack Productions produced two public service announcements for the Institute. The first, a humorous spot, entitled "Madame Eterno," shows a fortuneteller and a man seeking the truth about anti-aging miracle drugs. The second spot, entitled "Fountain of Youth?," is a visual presentation of the words melatonin, DHEA, testosterone, and super hormones. Both PSAs encourage viewers to call the NIA Information Center toll-free at 1-800-222-2225 for a free fact sheet.
Borrowing from her teenage daughter, Jane E. Shure, NIA's Public Information Officer, allowed as how the Emmy was "way cool." She noted her appreciation for the many public service directors who played the spot and reminded the audience that "the concerns and interests of older people shouldn't be overlooked when thinking about community service programming." She particularly credited the work of Roger Vilsack, of Vilsack Productions, Arlington, Virginia, for his "creative magic" in transforming the message into an engaging yet responsible PSA. Vilsack Productions is an independent creative and film production company.
The PSAs were distributed in 1997 and received widespread national play. The Institute will re-release them this month.
The NIA leads the Federal effort to conduct and support studies on health and aging.