11.1 Designing Effective Messages is just as Important as Deciding How to Disseminate Them

All marketing is designed to create or change behaviors. In the world of business advertising, those behaviors are related to consumption. Social marketing is designed to promote positive human behaviors or change those that contribute to social problems. Designing effective messages that create an emotional reaction, as well as provide important information and generate “buzz,” is at the heart of social marketing. Those messages can then be disseminated via any number of media depending on the audience, budget, or interests of the organization. Box 11.1.1 details how 17 Triggers, a consulting firm who does marketing for good causes based in Cambodia, used a variety of media vehicles to promote an anti-trafficking message.

11.1.1 Bright Ideas: 17 Triggers Campaigns against Human Trafficking

17 Triggers is a consulting firm dedicated to marketing for the social good. The organization started after three colleagues in different fields (a microfinance expert, creative marketer, and a graphic designer) decided that they could pool their talents and work for social causes.

A recent campaign against human trafficking in Cambodia, “Choose Safe Migration” exemplifies the potential of working with youth in your social marketing to achieve social impact. In order to raise awareness on human trafficking, the group worked with MTV EXIT youth volunteers to run a pledge campaign around the country. Volunteers were trained how to start their own road show events in their provinces, centered around an easy to use toolkit. The youth kicked off their campaign at an awareness concert with 40,000 people, equipped with only their 30 second pitch and a small bucket of paint. The volunteers would ask concert-goers to dip their fingers in paint and pledge with a fingerprint that they would remember the keys of migrating safely (Don’t rush, Don’t trust everyone, Don’t give away your stuff ). As the concert-goers went about their day, others would ask why they had paint on their hand and they had to repeat the pitch they heard from the volunteers.

The campaign used the multiplier effect to spread the word about human trafficking and create a buzz about how to choose safe migration. An emotional viral video was also made for the youth to share on Facebook. It’s a call-to-action from youth to youth to join the movement. With the video as an introduction, the youth will continue the movement throughout Cambodia into 2012 and have a competition to see who can get the most fingerprint pledges.

See: www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMZX_dNruOw.

For more information, see www.17triggers.com/#.