Nedra is a social marketing consultant, author and speaker who works with nonprofits and government agencies for positive health and social change using social media, transmedia storytelling and entertainment education approaches at Weinreich Communications.Email me
The article then applies these principles to case studies of the Amazon Gold Box, the Real Care Baby, the "Relate for Teens" software program and the US Army's online shooter game that's used for recruitment. For those thinking about using interactive technology to bring about health or social change, this article is must reading.
The equivalency principle suggests that if something is unethical in the context of traditional persuasion, it is also likely to be unethical in the context of persuasive technology. This applies to motivations, methods and outcomes.
The reciprocal principle suggests that the creators of a persuasive technology should never try to persuade a user of something they themselves would not consent to be persuaded of. They must also regard users' privacy with as much respect as they regard their own .
The big brother principle suggests that any persuasive technology which relays personal information about a user to a third party must be closely scrutinized for privacy concerns. This distinguishes between "big brother" technologies, which share information, and "little sister" technologies, which do not. A big brother might be a web site that transmits your purchasing history to a telemarketing firm, while a little sister might be a motivational scale that keeps your weight private while encouraging you to reach your weight loss goal.
The disclosure principle suggests that the creators of a persuasive technology should disclose their motivations, methods and intended outcomes. This allows users to assume their share of the responsibility for these outcomes, and reduces their vulnerability to persuasion that they might not otherwise notice.
In addition, the reasonably predictable principle reemphasizes that the creators of a persuasive technology must assume responsibility for all reasonably predictable outcomes of its use.
Dramas produced according to the "Sabido method"--his formula for mapping out the characters' fates-have aired in a hundred countries, from Peru to Kenya and China. Some are large-scale television productions that cost up to a hundred and fifty thousand dollars per episode, with funding from U.S. AID or the United Nations, and some are seventy-five-dollar radio serials made by a local N.G.O. In 1992, a radio soap opera with a built-in AIDS-prevention message was produced in Tanzania with P.C.I.'s help. One region was cut off from the broadcast, and, after two years, researchers found that there were significant differences in condom use between that area and the rest of the country. Other studies have had similar results. Nevertheless, given the soap's reputation as the poor woman's recreational drug, the P.C.I. staff felt obliged to spend the first day of the workshop persuading health-care personnel to take the form seriously.As Bill said, "No one wants to go home and listen to an AIDS soap opera." That's why for each country PMC works in, they do formative research with the target audience to find out what their key issues are. When they are working with the country's Ministry of Health or other governmental agency, they make sure that all the values in the program are in synch with that government's policies (i.e., related to AIDS prevention or family planning). They then create a "values grid" that leads to the definition of the characters. They figure out what types of values statements a character might make (e.g., "There's no point in using contraception because it's up to God to decide how many children I should have." Or "Taking care of my family is the most important thing to me."). They put together the characters with their values sets, and figure out how the characters will relate to each other. Only then do they determine the program's plot. This process is quite intensive, and it takes them about 3 weeks to train writers in the Sabido method.
"If they sense that the program is 'educational,' they'll be gone in a second," Enriqueta Valdez Curiel, a P.C.I. consultant, said at a conference session. Let's say you want to make a show urging pregnant women to visit midwives. You write a story about Martha the midwife and the busy day she spends ministering to women in labor. That, Curiel said, is a public-service announcement. But give Martha a husband who wants her to quit her job, a daughter who accidentally becomes pregnant, or a village healer who attacks her-"Give her conflict and obstacles, lots of giros," or twists of fate-and you have a soap opera.
"These are characters who constantly find obstacles to overcome, but they keep on trying," Curiel said.
...In a typical soap opera, the heroine is subjected to an unfaithful husband, abduction, amnesia. She bears her fate bravely, but, to the dismay of feminist cultural critics, she waits for romance to redeem her and, too often, drifts back into a doomed marriage. In a Sabido soap, "you can't just punish, punish, punish the good ones," Curiel said, "or people will feel powerless to change."
But you can't get rid of the love stories, either. The trick is to get a health message across while still producing a soap opera that anyone would want to watch--to integrate escapism and didacticism. Prenatal nutrition and oral-rehydration therapy are not the usual stuff of soap operas. But poverty has its own built-in giros: frustrated men, vulnerable women and children, and a very thin margin between stability and crisis. Developing nations are rich in melodrama, if one chooses to see them that way. In most of Mexico, for example, it's all but impossible for women to get legal abortions, which makes for countless instructive story lines involving unwanted pregnancies, hasty marriages, and adultery.
Live with It debuted in the fall of 2005 and follows a cast of fictional characters living with HIV/AIDS. Told in three to five minute episodic broadband videos, the unfolding serial drama follows the characters, who were inspired by real-life stories culled from blogs, online communities and other resources, as they cope with their diagnoses, confront their emotions and struggle with personal relationships. It also provides a powerful emotional experience-- one that sufferers can relate to. To attract visitors and to encourage compliance, Live With It offers HIV sufferers not only medical advice and treatment options, but also a sense of community and shared experience as well.The series is also available via downloaded podcasts, and they have developed MySpace profiles for the characters as well.
Read the full article from the link above to see how Adler gave the industry standard a makeover. We often focus on what the patient should be doing to ensure compliance with their medications, but sometimes with a few changes to the product we can remove some of the main barriers that get in the way.
(1) Easy I.D.
The name of the drug is printed on the top of the bottle, so it’s visible if kept in a drawer.
(2) Code red.
The red color of the bottle is Target’s signature— and a universal symbol for caution.
(3) Information hierarchy.
Adler divided the label into primary and secondary positions, separated by a horizontal line. The most important information (drug name, dosage, intake instructions) is placed above the line, and less important data (quantity, expiration date, doctor’s name) is positioned below.
(4) Upside down to save paper.
Klaus Rosburg, a Brooklyn-based industrial designer hired by Target, came up with an upside-down version that stands on its cap, so that the label can be wrapped around the top. Every piece of paper in the package adds up to one eight-and-a-half-by-fourteen-inch perforated sheet, which eliminates waste and makes life easier for pharmacists.
(5) Green is for Grandma.
Adler and Rosburg developed a system of six colored rubber rings that attach to the neck of the bottle. Family members choose their own identifying shade, so medications in a shared bathroom will never get mixed up.
(6) An info card that’s hard to lose.
A card with more detailed information on a drug (common uses, side effects) is now tucked behind the label. A separate, expanded patient-education sheet, designed by Adler, comes with three holes so it can be saved in a binder for reference.
(7) Take “daily.”
Adler avoided using the word once on the label, since it means eleven in Spanish.
(8) Clear warnings.
Adler decided that many of the existing warning symbols stuck on pill bottles don’t make much sense—the sign for “take on an empty stomach,” for instance, looked like a gas tank to her—so together with graphic designer Milton Glaser, for whom she now works, she revamped the 25 most important.
YouthNoise, a nonpartisan, nonsectarian, nonprofit organization, creates an authentic experience for young people ages 16 to 22 by featuring 100% youth-generated content. Content is organized into 15 easily navigated channels spanning War, Peace & Terrorism, Religion, the Economy, Tolerance, Life & Culture and the Arts with the ability to expand into any social issue the community chooses. User profiles are organized based on their cause and issue preference, which allows peers to easily search the network for other users with like interests.The site already has over 113,000 users, and right now it looks like the main area for user-generated content is in the forums section, which touches on all of the topics and has a high volume of postings. It doesn't look like the profiles can be personalized as much as a service like MySpace but it has a lot of potential.
YouthNoise was founded in 2001 by Save the Children as an online community for youth to share and convert ideas into action and improve the world around them. Since the original conception, YouthNoise spun off in 2004 and has spent the last two years evolving from an online community for youth to the internet's premiere social network for youth who want to create social change.
By featuring only user-generated content, YouthNoise has effectively created a politically neutral media outlet for youth to discuss social issues and receive news, opinions and events through a familiar channel and voice that is devoid of gatekeepers and agendas. Each channel on the network will include blogs that host debates and allow users to upload photos and text to post along with their entries. In addition, YouthNoise will feature a showcase of user created poetry, art, and photography as well as profiles of projects in progress or completed.
Campaigns have a beginning and an end. Movements go on as long as kindred spirits are involved. Campaigns are part of the war vocabulary. Movements are part of the evangelist vocabulary. Campaigns are dry and emotionally detached. Movements are organic and rooted in passion. Campaigns rely on traditional mediums. Movements rely on word of mouth. Campaigns are part of the creationist theory. Movements are part of the evolutionist theory. Campaigns are you talking about yourself. Movements are others talking about you. Campaigns add to awareness. Movements add to credibility. Campaigns are “you vs. us.” Movements are “let’s do this together.”To this I would add: Campaigns are static, but movements are dynamic. Nobody wants to have a campaign directed at them, but people want to become part of a movement that’s larger than themselves — and to invite their friends to join them. I think the truth campaign and the Invisible Children campaign are great examples of social marketing movements.
Not sure anyone does...Actually, Seth, I do! Social marketers deal with this type of product all the time. Getting people to eat less of their favorite foods, wear a condom or get a colonoscopy -- not easy sells -- is what we do in social marketing.
The FDA just approved the Gardasil vaccine, which protects women against cervical cancer and some sexually transmitted diseases. It's a breakthrough that could save thousands of lives every year.
The thing is, it costs $360 and needs to be given by injection to girls before they become sexually active--about 12 is what they're recommending. And, since it's a vaccine, there are fears about long-term effects.
So, let's try to imagine that conversation taking place across the dinner tables and examination rooms across America... The idea that parents can be reached and then persuaded to confront these issues, in our culture, is a little overwhelming.
A reminder that marketing is always about a lot more than just facts.
The Second Life Special Trainer will join GK's Online Leadership Program (OLP) team for the summer of 2006. The OLP works with young people to develop web-based dialogues and socially conscious games that inspire youth world-wide to learn and take action about global and public affairs.Steve Rubel called this "virtual marketing," which seems a pretty good name for these kinds of efforts in Second Life (which I've written about before). I suspect that in the next generation of teens, when the technology improves a little more, teens' lives (and perhaps ours as well) will move in and out from actual to virtual worlds and back seamlessly. I predict that this will become a huge marketing venue and that instead of websites that people look at in the "real world," we will each have a chunk of virtual property from which to hawk our products/ideas, interacting within the virtual world as if we were actually there.
Now in its sixth year, the OLP is expanding its role within the Teen Second Life virtual world. Our summer program will build on our work in this space to develop a foreign policy and activism summer camp, in conjunction with our US in the World Summer Institute. The Special Trainer will adapt existing experiential, interactive workshops for
use in the virtual world, co-facilitate the workshops for online teens, assist the youth to develop an action plan, and document best practices.
Fear marketers paint the picture of what your life might be like if you don't get their product. They play into already existing fears, or paint new ones that consumers may never have considered. The end result is the consumer perception that the advertised product or service is a necessity to keep their family safe, make their life less dangerous, or avoid a situation they dread. But should we do it? Doesn't this type of marketing just add to the plague of society, fostering fear and making us a weaker people as a result? Probably - but the problem with fear marketing is that it often works.Fear appeals are used quite often in social marketing campaigns, not always to good effect. I've seen several campaigns lately that use this technique, such as this ad from Mothers Against Drunk Driving promoting a safe graduation (via Coolz0r):
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