Hal Hershfield, University of California Los Angeles, USA. Smoking, high cholesterol diets and inadequate exercise are examples of unhealthy habits which can be the firmly established results of years of learning and reinforcement. Existing evidence indicates that mass media efforts to improve public health can and have accomplished the following tasks: (1) increase awareness of a health problem; (2) raise the level of information about health topics; (3) make a health topic or problem more salient, thereby sensitizing the audience to ether efforts, such as personal selling, group education or direct-mail brochures; (4) stimulate interpersonal influence via conversations with family, friends, doctors and other experts; (5) generate forms of self-initiated information seeking; and (6) reinforce existing attitudes and behaviors. 2. Scott Ward, letter to A. Sawyer dated October 22, 1975. And Swineheart (1975a, 1975b) reported that the Children's Television Workshop conducted or commissioned some sixty formative research studies in the course of creating the Public Broadcasting System's health program, "Feeling Good.". 3. Maccoby (1975) has noted that the advertisements and other materials utilized in the Stanford campaign to "unsell" heart disease were extensively pretested. A lot of uncertainty surrounds the issue of companies creating brand awareness and loyalty when consumers are becoming more immune to mass advertising effects. Cincinnati, Ohio: Association for Consumer Research, in press. However, critical mass in marketing requires a very different product – users – to ensure a “chain reaction” of sales. Furthermore, the reward for many health-maintenance and disease-prevention actions is intangible, delayed or uncertain. Chicago: Association for Consumer Research, 1975. A Gall-up poll conducted in late 1973 found that few women even claimed to examine their breasts on any regular basis. However, the behavioral changes brought about by the mass media campaign alone were very small compared to the changes generated by an experimental condition which combined mass media advertising with face-to-face group instruction for high-risk subjects. The real question, them, is not "Do mass communication campaigns work? These findings hold significant importance to the marketing communications industry, particularly companies who partake in mass media advertisement. Although such campaigns can make an impact, they often do not. A controlled experiment designed to evaluate an advertising campaign aimed at increasing seat belt usage showed that the promotional effort had no effect on belt use at all (Robertson et. In contrast, Maccoby and Farquhar (1975) and Maccoby (1975) have reported on an intensive two-year mass media campaign which was successful in reducing risk factors associated with hearth disease among the target population. And since consumer behavior literature within the public health field is not ordinarily geared to practical marketing planning, it is quite probable that literature reviews will need to be supplemented with primary research. A Gall-up poll conducted in late 1973 found that few women even claimed to examine their breasts on any regular basis. B. Anderson, ed., Advances in Consumer Research, Vol. For example, copytests of a number of storyboards designed to promote ethnic plurality and pride in national and racial origin indicated that one of the storyboards delivered exactly the opposite message, i.e., that everyone should be alike so there would be no prejudice, and another storyboard, which intended to portray and then refute prejudiced beliefs, failed to achieve an effective refutation (Leo Burnett U.S.A., 1974). And in 1975, the Association for Consumer Research program included a session titled "Consumer Behavior and Public Health." Herbert Hyman and Paul B. Sheatsley, "Some Reasons Why Information Campaigns Fail," Public Opinion Quarterly, 11, (1947), 412-23. As with any promotional goals, those in the health area must state what target market or markets are to be reached, what message or messages are to be delivered, which media are to be used, and what measurable effects are to be achieved over what time period. The point is that mass media campaigns are more likely to be effective if they are based on an understanding of relevant demographic, psychological, and sociological characteristics and experiences of the target consumers. Maccoby (1975) has noted that the advertisements and other materials utilized in the Stanford campaign to "unsell" heart disease were extensively pretested. One final reason why it can be difficult to generate acceptance of public health programs and ideas lies in the nature of the profession and of some health organizations. Marketing is one of the most important things a business can do. Before doing that, however, it would be useful to review some of the problems that face would-be marketers of public health. Raymond Bauer and Donald F. Cox, "Rational Versus Emotional Communication: A New Approach," in Leon Arons and Mark May, eds. al, 1974). A controlled experiment designed to evaluate an advertising campaign aimed at increasing seat belt usage showed that the promotional effort had no effect on belt use at all (Robertson et. Nathan Maccoby, "Communication in Disease Prevention," presentation at the national conference of the Association for Consumer Research, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1975. However, a number of researchers offer persuasive arguments for examining the cognitive and affective as well as the behavioral influences of promotion (Clarke and Kline, 1974; Kline, Miller and Morrison, 1975; Ray and Ward, 1975). Recent efforts at utilizing the mass media to promote health implicitly or explicitly point to some strategies for improving the effectiveness of promotional campaigns, and these will be reviewed in the following paragraphs. Aside from the items specified above, some of the things that you need to know about mass marketing are as follows: 1. Philip Kotler and Sidney Levy, "Broadening the Concept of Marketing," Journal of Marketing, 33 (January, 1969), 10-15. Turning to the other side of the coin, that is, the beliefs, attitudes, motives and actions which support health maintenance and disease prevention, it appears that in the absence of overt symptoms many people feel safe or even invulnerable from disease; health concerns are forgotten, suppressed or repressed, interest in the subject can be relatively low, and there may be reluctance to interrupt established daily routines for any but the simplest additional health maintenance measures. Philip Kotler and Sidney Levy, "Broadening the Concept of Marketing," Journal of Marketing, 33 (January, 1969), 10-15. WHAT CAN MASS COMMUNICATIONS CAMPAIGNS DO? James W. Swinehart, "Developmental and Evaluative Research for a Television Series on Health," presentation at the national conference of the Association for Consumer Research, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1975b. In contrast, a ready-to-eat cereal manufacturer probably would be happy, or even ecstatic, if a new brand captured a four per cent share of the cereal market, or if an existing brand improved its sales by a one per cent share. In 1998, Fortune Magazine declared mass customization the organizing principle for manufacturers in the 21st century. But the point is that there are a number of other possible outcomes of public health advertising and publicity. One solution is to ask advertising agencies to donate creative services; many agencies do donate time to worthy causes either through the Advertising Council, local advertising organizations, or independently.

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