Posted Monday, 1 November at 9:51 pm in People
I’ve long been a believer in the role marketing can play in advancing issues of public interest, particularly health promotion and disease prevention. The same techniques used to promote commercial goods and services can be used to inform, educate and motivate the public about non-commercial issues, such as the risks of tobacco, obesity, unsafe sex etc.
Advertising, especially, is a powerful educational tool capable of reaching and motivating large audiences. Howard Gossage – thought of by many as advertising’s greatest defender – is famous for saying that ‘advertising justifies its existence when used in the public interest – it is much too powerful a tool to use solely for commercial purposes’.
However, there is now a greater focus on seeking a more sophisticated understanding of the mechanisms through which counter-marketing campaigns achieve their effects. You’ll recognise some of the following approaches from Australia’s most successful campaigns such as the National Tobacco Campaign’s Quit, the TAC’s Wipe off 5, the Cancer Council’s Slip Slop Slap, and the Go for2&5® fruit and vegetable campaign:
In short, it’s a heady mix of principles from marketing 101, psychology 101 and sociology 101. But the overarching principle is still the same as any other marketing communications campaign: make sure you reach the right person at the right time with the right message. Then hit them again and again and again … (that’s the unsophisticated part).