"Thunder thighs," "love handles" and "spare tires" may not be the way the Centers for Disease Control talks about obesity, but those are terms in which regular Americans think of their extra pounds. So, when ad copy for Small Steps TV ads was written, it touted the power of marginal changes in diet and exercise to help thirty- and fortysomethings lose those unwanted body parts.
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La familia importa.
With Latino audiences, family relations are paramount, and appeals to this audience should reflect that priority. Campaigns aimed at getting Latino parents to exercise have portrayed walking as a family affair, and for women, an extension of their obligation to their family.
Let the Web do the work.
For all audiences, but for teens in particular, the World Wide Web is the place to learn and connect to an issue.
Bill Oberdorfer, the McCann-Erickson Worldwide account executive for the Fun With Food anti-obesity messages aimed at kids, says the broadcast ads can afford to be funny, cryptic and light on educational messages because all they need to do is lead kids to a website. "That's where the heavy lifting is done," says Oberdorfer. For kids in particular, many campaign websites extend and convey messages with computer games and even opportunities to chat and instant message with other kids.
The same is true of the Truth campaign, and even the Small Steps aimed at adults: Let the ad draw quarries to the website, and let the website convey the real information.
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Fitness in Finland's footsteps
Finland's public campaign to drive down one of the world's highest rates of heart disease is often cited by public health officials as a key example of what a social marketing campaign can do when backed by a wide range of government policies.
At the end of World War II, roughly 75% of Finnish men smoked tobacco, compounding the health risks of a diet high in animal fat and salt and declining physical activity. In the early 1970s, the Finnish government launched a multi-pronged effort to get Finns to stop smoking, cut back on such national staples as butter and salted fish, and get out and exercise. Companies and communities launched Nordic walking clubs, the Finnish national TV network ran "Quit and Win!" lotteries for those who stopped smoking, and schools got serious about teaching nutrition to young children. Prodded by the government, restaurants began offering salads with meals at no extra charge, and workplaces made time for group exercise.
But the Finnish government threw its weight into the campaign too, banning tobacco advertisement and smoking in workplaces, as well as tightening the nation's food labeling laws. The result: In three decades, Finland has driven down heart disease deaths by 60% and cancer deaths by 15%.
— Melissa Healy