The objective of this work was to create a scalable campaign to raise awareness, and change the perception, of two highly effective yet underused methods of birth control among millennial women (aged 18-34) -- the IUD and the Implant.
Our approach aimed to directly address the topics that women care about most, such as lifestyle considerations and future pregnancy ambitions, whilst also confronting the real issues and fears that might prevent these women from exploring new birth control methods. A key consideration was combating misinformation in the marketplace that lingered from defective, recalled products of the 70's.
Our goal was two fold - firstly, create and deliver a message that would arrest the attention of our target consumer. Secondly, to drive behavioral change, by having them engage in a conversation that encourages females to alter their perception of the IUD and the Implant. We needed to cut through the clutter of media aimed at this age group, with a provocative message that would be informative, yet actionable.
Most campaigns about the IUD and the Implant play up their effectiveness in preventing pregnancy, as well as how long they last. However to the young women we met, 'effectiveness' is an expectation rather than a benefit. Similarly, 'long-lasting' felt like a commitment rather than something which would liberate them from remembering to take the pill.
During in-depth interviews and co-creation sessions, we discovered that millennial women were seeking to understand both the side effects and real-world experiences of other women; "Will I get mood swings?", "Is it safe?", "How does it feel?". The campaign centers on providing answers to these burning questions; informing women as to how these methods might fit into their daily lives, and a Q&A so that they may learn how like-minded peers are thinking about, feeling towards, and experiencing, specific forms of birth control.
Whoops Proof Birth Control, shifts the conversation in terms of subject-matter and tone to engage young women from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds as well as the health care professionals who treat them. The information is presented in a way that attracts attention, yet provides practical information at a glance. Additionally, the campaign assets are flexible enough to allow local organizations to activate them in a way that was sensitive to the cultural context -- copy-led ads where the community is conservative, and provocative, image-led campaign materials for more progressive communities.
The campaign comprises of several touch points and advertising channels -- from print magazines, outdoor billboards and posters, Pandora radio, public transit, digital and social media, as well as bathroom advertising -- each used to create awareness with the better birth control audience, and drive millennial women to a dedicated microsite whoopsproof.org. This site uses the carefully crafted campaign messages as a device to navigate through specific education materials, and the complex topic itself.
For health care providers and advocates, we designed a communication guide, explaining how to initiate more relevant conversations with millennial women around their choices.
The team released Whoops Proof Birth Control as a "Campaign in a Box" toolkit, providing everything a local public health organization needs to launch a campaign specific to its audience. Currently the campaign is running as a pilot in areas where women are at the highest risk for unplanned pregnancy -- Cleveland, Tulsa, South Carolina, and Washington, DC.
The campaign initially launched in some of the nation's most high-risk areas, with geo-targeted efforts in Cleveland, Tulsa, South Carolina, and Washington, DC.
Learnings are now being applied to similar campaign activation efforts as Whoops Proof rolls out to other regions.
Facebook was the most effective channel, allowing millennial women to engage in conversation and consider new methods. The attached infographic details more results from the Facebook campaign.
Total website traffic to whoopsproof.org January to August 2016 was 147,418 visits.
Awareness and Consideration
There were increases among women aged 18-34 in familiarity with the Implant from the Cleveland campaign*, after the social marketing activity was implemented. The proportion of women who reported being somewhat or very familiar with this method increased from 61% to 71%. Another significant shift was apparent where respondents that thought about using an Implant, rose from 29% to 36%.
*n = 306, tested pre- and post-campaign
Early results are promising, with post-test respondents more likely to be familiar with, or considering using these methods of birth control. The campaign is on its way to achieving its goal in both increasing knowledge, and positive perception for IUDs and the Implant.
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