Case Study: No Laughing Matter: A Humor-Driven Marketing Campaign Promotes Hygiene for Pandemic Prevention


Company: Florida Department of Health Agency: Salter>Mitchell Timeframe: 2007 To convince Florida residents that they should always be prepared for an influenza pandemic such as bird flu—not to mention outbreaks of the common cold—the Florida Department of Health (DOH) set out to launch a statewide campaign centered on promoting hygienic behavior. They enlisted the aid of Marketing for Change and Herrle Communications Group (two sister agencies that later merged into Salter>Mitchell) to develop and implement a social marketing campaign that would motivate Floridians to take preemptive action. Based on early research findings, most Florida residents didn’t see an imminent threat from a pandemic, says Doc Kokol, director of communications for the Florida Department of Health. “The CDC did some national work and found the same thing. As soon as people heard the word ‘pandemic,’ they turned off the message.

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