Return to Vital Stories
May 22, 2015

Experts Share Latest Public Health Social Marketing Trends

The New Zealand Transport Authority’s Mistakes TV campaign.

By Tom Carroll, Senior Technical Advisor

The 4th World Social Marketing Conference was held in Sydney in April, bringing together more than 300 social marketing experts from 32 countries looking at how social marketing is being used to positively influence behaviours in public health, environmental sustainability and a range of other sectors.

The conference examined how social marketing is being used to raise awareness about the harms of tobacco, e-cigarettes, alcohol and obesity. Road safety, HIV and maternal and infant health were also key themes discussed.

The role of social marketing in road safety was a key focus, including the multi-country road safety advertising study undertaken by Vital Strategies in partnership with the World Health Organisation and supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.The conference included oral presentations, poster sessions and workshops illustrating a broad array of applications of social marketing in public health. A number of presentations explored social marketing topics such as ethics, changing social norms, public-private partnerships and the emerging sharing economy.

I presented a paper on behalf of the Vital Strategies road safety team, exploring the effectiveness of different types of advertising targeting drink driving and speeding in eight countries. One purpose of the study was to identify effective road safety ads that could be adapted for use in other countries within the Bloomberg Road Safety program.

Rachel Prince from the New Zealand Transport Authority showcased a recent road safety campaign targeting speeding called Mistakes. The engaging concept behind the campaign and TV ad has already been adapted for use in other countries.

The conference was a valuable opportunity to learn about and share the latest trends in the social marketing field for researchers and practitioners. For more information, click here here.

Back to top