FEASIBILITY OF AN INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION CAMPAIGN TO RAISE AWARENESS OF FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDERS

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Bazzo S1, Black D1, Marini F2, Moino G2, Riscica P2, Mitchell K3, Maillard T1

1European FASD Alliance, Landskrona, Sweden
2Local Health Authority of Treviso, Treviso, Italy
3National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Washington DC, USA

On September 9, 2014 (International FASD Day), the European FASD Alliance, NOFAS USA and EUROCARE launched “Too Young To Drink”, an international awareness campaign on FASD, sponsored by Fabrica, an Italian creative agency, and participating organizations and individuals. The strategy used the principles of health marketing and was based on active participation of entities concerned with FASD around the world and use of social media. The visual depicted an image of a baby inside a variety of types of bottles representing different alcoholic beverages, utilized to develop several print materials (posters/banners/brochure) translated in local languages. The launch consisted in a non-stop action of guerrilla marketing: materials of the campaign were displayed in various cities and settings; people took pictures and disseminated through the Internet worldwide using social media. The aim of the study was to evaluate the feasibility of this approach. The diffusion on social media after the launch was measured using specific instruments of social media analytics. The campaign involved 53 organizations from 27 countries worldwide. During the launch week, the Facebook Fan page of the campaign reached 100,000 users, 4,019 shares interactions and 1,386 likes. The main target were women aged 18-44 years. The drivers of the viralization were the action and the involvement of the partner communities. In Twitter, 10,000,000 impressions for the hashtag #FASD and 1,200 tweets with the hashtag #tooyoungtodrink were obtained. The main active tweeters were members of the network of partners. Most partners referred positive reactions and considered the campaign a good occasion to start a global discussion on FASD. The second edition of the campaign was launched on September 9, 2015. It was joined by 76 organizations in 35 countries worldwide and is still ongoing. Results support the feasibility of using social marketing strategies and social media to spread information and increase awareness on FASD. This is a promising approach to mobilize entities dealing with FASD around the world in joined prevention efforts and sustain the attention throughout the year. Additional studies are needed to identify effects of the two editions of the campaign on awareness and other outcomes of interest.

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