What do frying eggs in a pan, zippers, and greeting cards have in common? They’re all social marketing efforts that failed.
“Social marketing” is a concept from the 1990s that applied advertising reasoning to health behavior change: use the media to “sell” the value of healthy behaviors or to “sell” the high cost of unhealthy behaviors. The much-spoofed ad showing the frying egg in the pan with the voiceover going, “This is your brain on drugs,” is classic social marketing public service announcement that everyone knows.
The problem is that social marketers could care less about real outcomes: declines in smoking rates, decreases in early sexual debut, decreases in pregnancy, decreases in STD infections. So how do they measure success? By measuring the “stickiness” of slogans, jingles, and logos. I encountered this in 2001 when I wrote a story on the (then-named) Texas Health Department’s sexual abstinence campaign, “Zip It!”
a result, they can claim success for their campaigns and their methods by measuring “stickiness” — re able to claim