Campaign Reviews

Developing and Assessing a Successful Campaign by Tai Tran

Social Media Marketing Manager, Tai Tran, gives a description of the six Ms of campaign planning. See his post here.  The six Ms are Mission, Market, Message, Media, Money, Measurement. Why is the evaluation-related M (measurement) listed last? Even though in the description, it is clear that evaluation is done pre-campaign and post-campaign, and even during the campaign, what if we started listing measurement or evaluation or research as the first step in any campaign planning effort? Would that help us to recognise the importance of conducting measurement, evaluation or research before we start thinking of the creative promotional aspects of the campaign?


Got it? Get it. — PSI/Caribbean safe sex campaign

A student brought this YouTube video to my attention recently. The 30-second video,uploaded in January 2013, promotes safe sex with the message Tube up, lube up.  I did some checks and apparently it is a part of the Got it? Get it. campaign that is managed by the Caribbean arm of Population Services International (PSI/C). Since 2005, PSI/Caribbean has been based in Trinidad and Tobago with offices in 12 English-speaking Caribbean islands. They have been implementing a regional social marketing programme that addresses HIV and AIDS. The Got It? Get It. (GIGI) safe sex brand has been developed over the past four years since 2009/2010 to help the PSI/Caribbean achieve its mandate.

Logo cutesy

Logo courtesy

Regional campaigns can be difficult to implement and the GIGI campaign recognizes this. According to one blog post on Healthy Lives:

The Caribbean is a vibrant region that is geographically and culturally diverse, and as such, it is often challenging to promote a singular brand such as GIGIâ€

To address this challenge, GIGI has relied on social media to disseminate its messages. Since 2010, GIGI has been on popular social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.The campaign has a website and there have been Brand Ambassador competitions in various islands. Here is another blog post about the campaign.

The YouTube channel created October 20, 2010, is called GIGI Sexnice. It archives 59 videos, has 496 subscribers and as at November 17, 2013, has captured over 1 million views (1,124,709 to be exact). The Facebook page has 32,982 likes (as at November 17, 2013), with 71 people talking about it. Since the first tweet on September 2, 2010, the Twitter account has accumulated 642 tweets and 252 followers.

One wonders though if the use of social media platforms and aiming for a strong social media presence really helps to ensure that a campaign has regional impact. From a quick perusal of the online content, there seems to be varying degrees of GIGI- related campaign activity taking place around the region. The ones in Trinidad and Tobago are well documented, too. Ultimately, the success of this regional campaign will depend on its ability to maintain a regional GIGI safe sex brand while recognizing the idiosyncrasies in each island where the campaign is being implemented.

Eat Jamaican: A slogan, a day and now, a month

Logo: Grow what we eat; eat what we grow. Courtesy:

Logo: Grow what we eat; eat what we grow.

The ‘Eat Jamaican’ campaign, with its catchy slogan: “grow what we eat, eat what we grow” celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. When the campaign was launched in 2003, by the Jamaica Agricultural Society, November 25 was declared Eat Jamaican Day in Jamaica. This year to commemorate the 10th anniversary, November is being recognized as Eat Jamaican Month. And there will be several special events to celebrate the occasion. The “grow what we eat” message is not totally new as we learn it has been seen before, since Jamaica’s independence.

Over its 10 years of implementation, the “Eat Jamaican” campaign has received mixed reactions:

A venture of this kind also has the effect of bringing down the cost of the import bill for agricultural produce, which has been showing a decline over the last two years.

-Elgin Taylor, Star Writer

It’s really time now to eat what we grow and grow what we eat

- Jamaica Observer Sunday Editorial

‘Eat What You Grow’ Slogan Catches On At St Thomas Infirmary

- The Gleaner

I wonder if the concept of grow what you eat and eat what you grow applies to people like me. I believe that if this concept became law, I would surely die of starvation.

- The Gleaner Blogs

REGARDLESS OF who first publicly proposed the concept of ‘eating what you can grow’, it is a good one.

- Evan Archer

The campaign has used various strategies for promoting its message: road shows, essay writing, quizzes and cooking competitions, and special day observances. Jamaica also hosts several food festivals annually - Trelawny Yam Festival, Port Royal Seafood Festival, Little Ochie Seafood Festival, Portland Jerk Festival, and St Mary Breadfuit Festival to name a few.

The “Eat Jamaican” campaign has been implemented in part to address Jamaica’s rising food import bill. According to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), during January to May 2013, Jamaica’s food import bill rose by 7 per cent. Total food imports during that period was US$421million, up from US$394 million for the same period in 2012.  What does this mean for the effectiveness of the “Eat Jamaican” campaign?

According to the Jamaica Agricultural Society, the objectives of the campaign were:

  1. To re-establish the fact that Jamaica is an agricultural country; that our richest heritage accrues from rural farming communities; that all our best attitudes and values are to be found in the traditional Jamaican ‘country life’; and that central to our Jamaican culture is the food that we produce and the ways in which we prepare them.

  2. To remind those who have forgotten and inform those who are too young to know, of the dimensions of Jamaica’s farming sector, the colourful threads of this broad fabric from the small subsistent farmer to the large farming operations; the economic importance in terms of jobs and income generation; the success stories, as well as the struggle for survival.

  3. To celebrate the glories of Jamaican cuisine culture, many examples of which are the heart and soul of Food Festivals.

  4. To lift the morale of our farmers and their communities, re-awaken their appetite for production, while, at the same time, attracting new and young farmers to the sector.

  5. In this process the JAS itself should be repositioned as the viable and relevant farmers’ organization adding value to its membership by helping to create an atmosphere where wealth can be generated for all through the influencing of policies that will benefit the sector.

These objectives are rather broad.  How have these objectives been measured over the 10-year period of the campaign? Are more Jamaicans eating Jamaican food?  No doubt, many Jamaicans will recall the “eat what we grow” message, but how many actually eat Jamaican food?

Going forward, the “Eat Jamaican” campaign will need to revisit its objectives and ensure that they are measurable and behaviourally focused. Audience segmentation will need to be incorporated as a key campaign strategy to ensure that messages are tailored for different segments of the Jamaican population – for example, those who are already eating Jamaican food regularly and need to maintain this behaviour versus those who are not eating Jamaican food as often as they could, and find it difficult to do so; or those who already engage in gardening versus those who don’t. How about a specific objective that encourages Jamaicans to eat meals with Jamaican food at least five days per week? Or a measurable objective that focuses on promoting the behaviour of home gardening or other agricultural activities?

Assuming that many Jamaicans are already aware of the need to ‘eat what we grow’, the Jamaican Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries along with the Jamaica Agricultural Society must now focus efforts on influencing the gardening and eating behaviours of Jamaicans.

Jamaica’s human trafficking awareness campaign

Jamaica has been addressing issues regarding human trafficking in recent times. In a press release dated June 18, 2013 from the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP), of Jamaica’s Ministry of Justice, we learn that a number of public awareness activities have been implemented since April 2012 including public fora, outside broadcasts, the production of flyers, posters and other promotional material. Since then, attempts at further public education have been made.

On September 23, 2013, the International Day against Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking of Women and Children, a public education campaign against human trafficking was launched. This phase of the campaign included the production of 5000 flyers and 600 posters as well as the placement of messages on 13 buses which travel around the Corporate Area of Jamaica and the mounting of 7 billboards in major towns such as Kingston, Portmore, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril. The public education material were donated by the Military Information Support Team of the US State Department.


An example of the human trafficking campaign bus signage.

jamacia billboard

An example of the human trafficking campaign billboard.


An example of the human trafficking campaign billboard on location.

The billboard displays several messages:

Message 1:

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery.

Message 2:

Be wise, open your eyes, spot them, stop them, report them.

At this point it is not clear who is the “them” that we are to spot, stop and report. But one can assume it must be the traffickers. Then we are reminded by message 3:

You can help put an end to slavery…again.

And afterwards there is a call to action by message 4:

Call 811 or 1-888-protect (for child victims) or the nearest police station.

At the very bottom of the billboard, we see links to Facebook and Twitter which indicate that the campaign also utilizes some social media platforms. Apart from the words, there are three images: one showing hands tied and the other two representing the Jamaican coat of arms and the Embassy of the United States of America in Kingston, Jamaica.

The NATFATIP campaign also produced a poster that gives some more details. While repeating most of the information from the billboard, we are now given information on common trafficking indicators that relate to the victims of this activity. In comparing the poster to the billboard, we recognize more information is displayed on the poster than on the billboard – which is a good thing.

The NATFATIP campaign also produced this poster, which gives more details than the campaign billboard.

Above is an example of the content that appeared on 600 posters and 5000 flyers which gave more details than the campaign billboard.

Congratulations to the campaign designers for not repeating all the information from the poster on the billboard – as can be seen sometimes when some campaigns attempt to integrate their many messages for consistency. That would be too much information for a billboard which already has about 4 worded messages including phone numbers, along with 3 images, and 2 links to social media.

Several advertising experts will argue that effective billboards must contain only one simple message with few words – about fewer than 10 words. A quick review of these three sites (site 1, site 2, site 3) supports this argument. A billboard is usually placed alongside a road and is meant to be seen mostly by drivers. No doubt, pedestrians will be able to read a wordy billboard.  But drivers, while driving in free-flowing traffic, will only be able to see the billboard between 7 to 10 seconds, depending on the speed at which they are driving. The only time one can expect drivers to read a wordy billboard is when they are “stuck in traffic.â€

Arguably, if you are driving by a wordy billboard and you miss a part of it, you can simply finish reading it the next time you drive pass and hopefully the billboard is placed along your regular driving route, so you can keep reading it on each trip until you have read it fully. Some may argue that the human trafficking billboard is too wordy. Others may say that this is a serious issue and it needs a lot of attention, including many words placed on a billboard. But a wordy billboard is not necessarily an effective billboard.

Human trafficking is a complex issue and based on information from the June 18 press release, the NATFATIP of the Jamaican Ministry of Justice has been implementing not only public education initiatives but also training programmes and shelters for victims. Complex issues require not only a well-coordinated response but also effective messaging. I am eager to see the messaging strategy for future phases of this human trafficking awareness campaign.

Billboard and poster artwork were provided courtesy of the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP).

Pink t-shirts, ribbons, yogurt and cupcakes: Keeping abreast with Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Jamaica

Many countries recognize October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is that time of year when many organizations strengthen their efforts in raising awareness to support issues associated with breast cancer. The Jamaica Cancer Society (JCS) is one such non-profit organization that hosts activities to help in the prevention and control of cancer in Jamaica.

In October 2013, the JCS hosted a number of special events including screenings, Keeping Abreast†luncheon, a medical symposium, and a 5k run/walk among others.  A visit to the JCS’s Facebook page will reveal that many of these events are annual and sometimes held several times throughout the year.

For the awareness month of October 2013, it was amazing to see several organizations within the Jamaican corporate sector doing their part in helping to raise not only awareness but also raise funds to facilitate access to care and treatment for breast cancer:

For the awareness month of October 2013, you could obtain a pink t-shirt from Sun Island, a Jamaican apparel manufacturer

Yoplait Jamaica Save Lids to Save Lives Cancer Pledge:

Wisynco, the Jamaican distributor for Yoplait yogurt, continued their “Save Lids to Save Lives†commitment where for every 60z of Yoplait sold, they donated JA$8 to the JCS  In Photo: Brand Manager, Tricia Romeo at launch of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Photo Courtesy Wisynco Group Facebook Page
Wisynco, the Jamaican distributor for Yoplait yogurt, continued their “Save Lids to Save Lives” commitment where for every 60z of Yoplait sold, they donated JA$8 to the JCS. In Photo: Brand Manager, Tricia Romeo at launch of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Photo Courtesy Wisynco Group Facebook Page
JCS and Progressive Grocers: All proceeds from the sale of cupcakes, which were decorated with pink ribbons, and available at various supermarkets, were donated to JCS

JCS and Progressive Grocers: All proceeds from the sale of cupcakes, which were decorated with pink ribbons, and available at various supermarkets, were donated to JCS. Photo courtesy JCS Facebook Page

JCS Facebook photo: On Pink Day, October 4, 2013, Scotiabank staff sold pins and raised JA$206,000 for the JCS

JCS Facebook photo: On Pink Day, October 4, 2013, Scotiabank staff sold pins and raised JA$206,000 for the JCS

With all the many activities going on, one can imagine the task of coordinating the various breast cancer awareness events and mini-campaigns during the month of October. What works for this public awareness campaign is that there is a well-established brand – the colour pink. Closely related to that is the pink ribbon which is an international symbol of breast cancer awareness.  So once your event or campaign paraphernalia carried the color pink and/or the pink ribbon, you were automatically seen as part of the breast cancer awareness movement, whether or not you were hosting your event in collaboration with with the JCS. But it would help to work along the JCS to avoid duplication of efforts to ensure that all the seemingly isolated events share a common vision, a single mission, a specific objective.

As a bystander looking on all the pink events for October in Jamaica, it would seem to me that the common vision was fundraising.  It was good to see the targets set: the 5k run/walk held on October 26, 2013 was aimed at raising JA$3 million. But we also saw many mini-fundraising activities – the selling of pins on Pink Day, the selling of cupcakes, donations from the sale of Yoplait. Were these all contributing to the JA$3million target? Or were these separate fundraising initiatives? If so, was there some overall fundraising target?

It is interesting that public awareness and fundraising are two elements of the October breast cancer month of activities.  The two don’t always go hand in hand though. Raising awareness among individuals doesn’t easily translate into those individuals donating money to support interventions addressing breast cancer. But it was refreshing to see elements of effective fundraising during the pink month: the specific calls to actions. Instead of just a “make a donation” plea, there were calls to purchase a pin for JA$100; buy Yoplait and know that JA$8 will be donated to JCS.

The one fundraising tactic that seemed effective was the Lime Foundation’s Facebook fundraiser where each like and share of this pic would be matched by a JA$10 donation from Lime:

The one fundraising tactic that seemed effective was the Lime Foundation ‘s Facebook fundraiser where each like and share of this pic would be matched by a JA$10 donation from Lime.

Lime Jamaica, telecommunications service provider, pledged to give JA$10 for every Facebook like/share that a post with the Lime Foundation logo received.

The reason Lime Foundation tactic could be seen as effective is that it kept us abreast of the status of the fundraising so we had a sense of how well we were doing:


Thanks to this wall photo post on Lime Facebook Page, we learnt that at 7:30pm on October 24, just over JA$85,000 was raised out of the target JA$100,000.00.

It would have been nice to hear the status of all the various fundraising efforts during the month so that we could assess if we are meeting the target or if we need to work harder at meeting them.  We are still in the month of October and persons can still participate in many of these fundraising efforts. Hopefully once all the events have ended, we will hear about the outcome of the fundraising. Going forward, it would be nice to see more daily or fairly regular tracking of fundraising activities.

Maintaining an interest in the awareness of breast cancer and persuading individuals to donate to this cause can be a challenging task. Congratulations to all those who take up the challenge, not only during October, but also throughout the year to keep us abreast.

Strappy, the mascot from OPDEM

The first time I saw Strappy, it was not clear to me what is represented. I was told that it was the mascot for the Tropical Storm Gustav Recovery Project implemented by Jamaica’s Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) during 2009 to 2011.


Strappy, the mascot from OPDEM

One of the purposes of this campaign was to encourage persons living in the eastern side of Jamaica to engage is safer building practices in order to secure roofs during various natural hazards. Messages were disseminated using billboards and the traditional media platforms of radio, television and newspapers – details regarding how these message instruments were used can be found in the campaign’s publicity report.

The campaign also included a jingle Water come inna mi roof based on Lovindeer’s song “Wild Gilbert” which was produced shortly after the passage of hurricane Gilbert in 1988. Additional messages encouraged target audiences to make your roof hurricane proof.


OPDEM Poster – Make your roof hurricane proof

On ODPEM’s Youtube channel, several videos demonstrating how to make your roof hurricane proof have been archived.

Strappy was first introduced at the launch of Hurricane Preparedness Month on April 28, 2010. The mascot has been spotted on billboards even after the end of the Tropical Storm Gustav Recovery Project. It has also been present as cover photos on ODPEM’s Facebook page Thankfully there is a page on the ODPEM’s website which explains what Strappy is all about. It is here that we learn that Strappy is ODPEM’s “friendly hurricane strap mascot. Strappy represents a hurricane strap.

Mascots are memorable, easily identified symbols based on a person, object or thing. They are used in campaigns to help target audiences to not only identify and understand but also remember important elements of the campaign. Ira Kalb has described how mascots work and how to pick a memorable one.

At first glance, it is a bit difficult to recognize that Strappy is actually a hurricane strap, especially when you see only the image and do not know its name. Calling the mascot “Strappy” was a good move as this gives us a hint at what the mascot could represent. It is a good thing that when Strappy is mentioned on the ODPEM’s website, it is followed by the phrase, “the hurricane strap mascot”.

Ultimately, Strappy’s success will become evident when more Jamaicans use hurricane straps to ensure that their roofs are resistant to wind damage. Whether you know what it represents or not, heed its warning to “strap dem (i.e. your roof) down!”

PATH’s “Stay in school” Campaign

The Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH) is a conditional cash transfer intervention administered through Jamaica’s Ministry of Labour and Social Security.  In September 2012, it launched its “Stay in School” campaign. The campaign addressed the issue of absenteeism among students participating in PATH.

Background information on the campaign suggested that it had two main aims: ensuring that all children registered with PATH were enrolled in school at the start of the school year 2012/2013, and ensuring that male secondary school students registered with PATH attended school. However, this targeting of male students, in particular, is not obvious from a glance at the campaign materials, as at no time during the message delivery do we hear the campaign spokespersons making an appeal to male students.

The campaign uses docudrama and video messages, some of which have been aired on national television in Jamaica during the 2012/2013 school year.There are eight video messages involving well-known Jamaicans in entertainment, government and sports such as Khadine “Miss Kitty” Hylton.

Other personalities appearing in the campaign included:

These spokespersons encourage students to stay in school,ending with the campaign tagline- expressed in the Jamaican vernacular  ”school wi seh”. This is literally translated as “school we say”, indicating a statement of support for a cause, as in “we speak in support of staying in school”.

The testimonials given in each of the videos were credible as the messengers shared personal experiences when they spoke about how their staying in school helped them to achieve their particular career goals. Using testimonials in a campaign can produce undesired results, especially when the individual giving the testimony later engages in a behaviour that contradicts the intentions of the original message.

However, the campaign planners for the “School We Seh” intervention should have no fears as the personalities have all completed their schooling and are currently pursing reputable careers.  Now that the campaign’s year of implementation (2012/2013) has ended, it would be good to see the evaluation results to assess the effectiveness of this testimonial approach. Did the PATH students, especially the males, attend school regularly during 2012/2013?

Banning smoking in public places

Behaviour change has always been promoted as the ultimate aim of social marketing efforts. But it can be a difficult task to achieve, especially when it comes to addressing addictive behaviours like smoking and alcohol consumption. Of course many social marketing practitioners have long realized we can’t achieve 100% behaviour change. Some habitual behaviours can’t be changed immediately and therefore we encourage the performance of the behaviour in moderation. We end up promoting the responsible performance of certain addictive and potentially dangerous behaviours. And sometimes we go as far as using laws to discourage the practice of undesirable behaviours in favour of desirable ones.

This approach has indeed forced us social marketers not to be too judgmental of the very behaviour we are trying to modify when addressing target audiences through campaigns. Instead of telling teenagers not to engage in sexual activity, we encourage the practice of safe sex with condoms (much to the disapproval of proponents of abstinence). Instead of telling drinkers not to consume alcohol or engage in binge drinking, we tell them to drink responsibly and that means consuming only a certain amount of alcoholic beverage. Instead of telling intravenous drug users not to re-use or share unclean needles, we encourage them to exchange their used needles for clean needles. Instead of telling smokers not to smoke, we place a ban on smoking in public places. (If you haven’t noticed by now, in all these examples, the behaviour is allowed to continue but in a manner that is safe for those who are either directly or indirectly involved.)

On July 15, 2013, Jamaica implemented a ban on smoking in specified public places. Many critics see this as an attempt to force smokers to quit. If you can’t smoke freely anywhere, then what is the point in continuing to smoke? In effect the smoke-free air law reduces the available spaces for the smokers to perform their smoking behaviour. This therefore makes it difficult for the behaviour to be performed and implicit in that is the hope that the behaviour will be reduced. It is unlikely that this campaign will result in a drastic reduction in smoking behaviour as persons can find creative ways to smoke in private spaces, if they really must do so.  But one hopes that the campaign will lead to smokers finding it so difficult to locate an appropriate private space for smoking that they will eventually give up. Hopefully, evaluation research of the Jamaican situation will shed some light on whether a ban on smoking in public places actually leads to smoking cessation. For more information on the smoking ban in Jamaica, see here.

In an ideal world for most of us, we want no smoking; therefore smoking becomes a competing behaviour for what we desire. By introducing a ban on smoking in public places, the government of Jamaica has increased the nonmonetary costs of performing smoking.  Examples of nonmonetary costs in this case relate to the negative public recognition of the smoker who is caught smoking in an area where it is banned; or the time it may take to find somewhere to smoke and subsequent frustration of not being able to smoke as freely as one would wish. In fact, there are legal ramifications here as you can be arrested for smoking in a location where it is banned.

Three Arrested For Smoking At Sumfest

Three smokers who ignored reminders by the police were arrested during last Thursday Dancehall Night at Reggae Sumfest 2013… [read more here]

- Jamaica Gleaner

somking room

An example of a smoking room at Copenhagen Airport. Photo courtesy

In light of the Reggae Sumfest incident, Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson has issued a stern warning to smokers, reminding them that while the ban is currently undergoing consultation, the legal implications are still in place for offenders. Despite the public backlash that followed the ban on smoking, there has been some support coming out Western Jamaica. And if early indications are anything to go by, it seems there has been a decrease in cigarette sales following the ban.

In some public places such as airports, there are rooms designated for smoking. Interestingly, some of these chambers have transparent walls and so you can see who is smoking. If you are a smoker who is easily embarrassed, you would think twice about smoking in a chamber where passers-by can stare at you engaging in this socially undesirable behaviour. But remember we are not judging the behaviour here.  By placing a ban on smoking in public places, we are allowing smokers to do their smoking behaviour privately, in a way that is safe for the rest of us given the dangers of passive smoking and second hand smoke.


“Smoke-free public places, it’s your right, protect it”

When it comes to attempts to curb smoking, it has always been argued that it is better to focus on prevention than on cessation. It is better to focus resources on discouraging non-smokers from taking up the habit than on discouraging seasoned smokers to give up an addictive habit. Since the implementation of the ban, the Health Promotion and Education Unit of the Jamaican Ministry of Health has been airing a 30-second message on radio and television through which persons are given examples of places where it is illegal to smoke. The message ends with the line “Smoke-free public places, it’s your right, protect it” implying that the information presented is intended for non-smokers who must now protect their right to smoke-free air. This smoke-free campaign has been careful in its message design as at no point are smokers told to stop smoking; instead they are reminded that it is illegal to do it public places. But arguably, herein lies a shortcoming of the campaign.

Appropriate infrastructure or programmes should have been established to help the smoker who must now deal with the dilemma of finding somewhere private to smoke. Maybe one approach to help smokers who feel they are in fact being discouraged from smoking would be to suggest to smokers how they could still perform their addictive behaviour in a manner that would cause no harm to others in public settings. Maybe the campaign should have built some smoking chambers with glass walls so at least the smokers would not feel like they are being discouraged from performing their smoking behaviour. Maybe there should be an increase in services such as telephone hotlines and counseling programmes to help smokers to quit, especially for those who are strong-willed enough to want to quit. The ban on smoking campaign considers the health of non-smokers. But have we fully considered the smoker? Yes, we can be fatalistic and think most smokers are going to die of lung cancer anyway, so let’s just leave them to time and focus on the health of non-smokers. Maybe there is something that can still be done for the smoker, while at the same time maintaining the ban on smoking in public places for the health of non-smokers.

NCDA’s Under 18 Drinking Campaign

The Jamaican National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) has been airing messages about under 18 drinking since the December 2012/January 2013 holiday period. So far I have only heard messages on various national radio stations and on the NCDA’s web site – click here to listen to the three radio spots. All three ads use music and lyrics reminiscent of Jamaica’s popular reggae/dancehall rhythms.

While the evaluation of the current “under 18 drinking” campaign has not been conducted as yet, the messaging strategy in Radio Jingle 3 was on target. It focused on alternative behaviours that individuals under 18 years of age could practice as opposed to the competing behaviour of drinking alcohol. This is in keeping with Kotler and Lee’s (2011) principle for social marketing success which encourages message designers to support and promote doable behaviours with significant potential impact.


The issue of “under 18 drinking” has been discussed in the national media for some time now – as early as summer 2012 one could find newspaper articles about NCDA’s attempt to address the issue. There have been references to research done by the NCDA in the media as well, which no doubt has helped to inform the recent radio messages about under 18 drinking. Some results to note:

  • 53% of teenagers between the ages 13 and 15 had used alcohol.
  • 80 % drank before age 14.
  • 35% had been drunk on one or more occasion.
  • Surveys between 1987 and 2006 showed that the percentage of teens using alcohol has  remained upwards of 70%.

- 2010 NCDA Survey

Some Jamaican media have labeled the behaviour with phrase “underage drinking” rather than “under 18 drinking” which has been used to label the recent campaign; the “under 18″ label specifies the age under which individuals should not be consuming alcohol. That’s Simple and good!

The NCDA is the Jamaican government agency charged with addressing matters relating to drug abuse. For now only radio ads are being disseminated. A print and televised version of the campaign should be out soon – in time for the next season of parties associated with Carnival usually held in March and April when it is likely that youth will be tempted to engage in the consumption of alcohol. I am looking forward to the other messaging formats promoting clear and specific behaviours as alternatives to drinking alcohol when you are under 18.

Congratulations to campaign designer Janet Morrison and her creative team as well as the NCDA staff who seem to be on the right track to promoting behaviour change regarding under 18 drinking.

Do you put on your condom properly?

pinch leave an inch and roll poster

A poster used in the “Pinch Leave an Inch and Roll” campaign.

This poster was one of the message instruments used in the “Pinch, leave an inch and roll” campaign which promoted putting on a male condom properly.

The campaign was implemented during 2009 to 2010 by Jamaica’s Ministry of Health’s National HIV/STI Programme (NHP) as part of its behaviour change communication strategy which combines interpersonal and mediated communication-based interventions. (See The Communication Initiative’s article for more on the particular behaviour change communication strategy). The campaign targeted 15-24 year old males.

Reactions to campaign:

Both positive and negative reactions were voiced as illustrated in the local newspapers…

The message is faulty and needs serious adjustment…[it] is undergirded by the belief that if our young people simply protected themselves while having sex, it would allow them to have a good quality of life and to be productive…

- Esther Tyson

I personally do not care for the ‘advertisement’ and I agree with some of the other points made in her column….[but] When it comes to disease spread, we should be thankful for any product that assists in the reduction of transmission. The National HIV/STI Prevention and Control Programme (NHCP) should in haste respond to Mrs Tyson’s misleading statements to the nation.

- Ann Marie Campbell

The Ministry of Health’s campaign was spot on. Recognising that young people today are participating in activities like this, arming them with the correct information can only assist.

- Corve DaCosta

This advertisement is plugging a loophole in the condom strategy and should be commended for its noble goal.

- Devon Dick

Right now, condoms have a place, at least as an attempt in the war against the spread of some sexually transmitted disease.

- S. Peter Cambell Sr

We can treat symptoms of course by giving out condoms and teaching kids how to use them, but in the long run what kind of a society are we creating?

- Paul H. Reid

Inadvertently, singer Queen Ifrica (aka Ventrice Morgan) used the phrase in her song titled “No Bwoy” which was released in July 2009: (See 0:30 where chorus begins with My body is the temple of the Most High and leads to Pinch, leave an inch and roll away yourself)

Despite the controversy, the campaign’s strength was its message that was clearly focused on a specific behaviour. Behaviours such as condom use are complex and within communication frameworks, placing focus on specific actions can contribute to larger goals such as a reduction in HIV transmission rates.