Reaching a savvy teen audience requires an approach that feels authentic and creates a sense of “discovery” of the campaign and message rather than a prescriptive approach. As part of a CDC-funded multi-strategy initiative to reduce teen birth rates, HRiA developed a social marketing campaign targeting Latina and African-American youth in two communities in Western Massachusetts experiencing significant health disparities related to race and poverty.
With an emphasis on social media, HRiA developed a creative social marketing campaign to meet teen girls by grabbing their attention, and then engaging them emotionally in messages that influence their attitudes, beliefs, and the norms that contribute to teen pregnancy. The marketing strategy integrated online and offline activities and allowed for the audience the experience “The DFL” campaign through social media, a website driven by user-generated content, and in their communities. A team of teen ambassadors created word-of-mouth buzz through online and offline peer interactions, distribution of promotional materials, and community-based guerrilla marketing activities that build campaign visibility. Marketing activities, including social media content and online advertising, drove traffic to the campaign website thedramafreelife.com, where content is easily shareable through multiple social media platforms.
Evaluation comprised an intercept survey conducted by youth in the target communities, and yielded strong results. Campaign awareness was high at 45.7% of audience members, and 79.7% of those who reported seeing the campaign were able to positively identify the meaning of “DFL” as “Drama Free Life.” Those who saw the campaign were significantly less likely to perceive a controlling boyfriend/girlfriend to be the norm – a key campaign objective. Additionally, over a 4-month period the website had 2,894 visits by over 2,000 unique users. DFL also had a strong social media presence, with Facebook ads yielding a total of 2.3 million impressions.