Bright Spot: Intervention 4 Mass Media Campaign

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This bright spot was originally published in the 100 Million Healthier Lives Change Library and is brought to you through partnership with 100 Million Healthier Lives and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.


Detailed Description

Mass media campaigns should be of long duration and high intensity. Messages are brief and developed using formative research and are delivered using advertising time or space that is paid or donated. Effective when combined with other interventions, including price increases and school-based or community education programs.

Key Lessons Learned

Contract with experienced social marketing/media vendor

Cost Details

In its Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control (2007), the CDC Office on Smoking and Health has state-by-state per capita recommendations for spending on state-wide tobacco counter marketing campaigns. The targeted rating points (TRP) requirements are 1,200 for a new campaign and 800 for a sustained campaign. For the latest cost information, please refer to the CDC per capita recommendations.

Key Steps for Implementation

Identify and contract with an experienced social marketing vendor

Identify audience(s) and conduct audience research and segmentation

Develop communications and behavioral goals and objectives

Develop and test messages with intended audience(s)

Work with partners to plan accompanying community-level interventions

Develop and test supporting materials 

Plan evaluation 

Implement media and community programs and process evaluation

Apply feedback to improve program

Assess effectiveness of program


Partnerships with local tobacco control programs are critical to success

Required Staffing (FTEs)

1.0 FTE may be adequate if media contractor is used.

Special Funding

Need for funds is quite high. CDC recommends $1.83 per capita for N.C.


Media campaign or social marketing training/experience

Types of Staff

Bachelor's degree in marketing, health education, communication or related field

Return on Investment Details

Not aware of a specific ROI applied to media campaigns alone.

Outcome Measures

  • Changes in knowledge, beliefs, attitudes and behavior of audience members
  • Smoking and other tobacco use rates

Process Measures

  • Formative research
  • TRPs and GRPs aired
  • News coverage
  • Quitline Calls/clicks
  • Web visits and pages viewed


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 Related Topics

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Tobacco Use