What is Social Marketing?

“Fifty years ago, the word “marketing” belonged only to the world of cigarettes, junk food, sneakers, and cereals—not to the world of nonprofit social service agencies or substance misuse prevention. Today, as the science of marketing has evolved, social marketing has come to play an important role in health and social service efforts. Social marketing can offer tools and techniques that prevention professionals can use to help improve prevention activities in their communities. If it’s clearly understood, adapted with care, and carried out professionally with research to back it up, social marketing can be a very useful tool for prevention professionals.” (http://www.samhsa.gov/capt/tools-learning-resources/understanding-social-marketing)

Social Marketing uses the principals that advertising uses, but geared toward social issues.  Advertising plays an enormous role in our lives- what we buy, eat, wear, and think.  Using that tactic, a Social Marketing Campaign influences a community into working together to fix a problem.  Social Marketing is all about positive marketing, and making positive changes.  There have been various successful Social Marketing campaigns regarding health, and making positive changes, like the anti-smoking campaign and the anti-drunk driving campaign.

The Plymouth Cluster has formed a Social Marketing Planning Group to implement this campaign.  The group is using this campaign to combat the low perception of harm youth across the cluster has around with drinking and other drug use.  We are working with students in the four high schools across the cluster to develop an advertising campaign that will be utilized  in their schools. Having the youth of our towns be involved in creating these messages will help them to be informative and relatable to their peers.   This advertising campaign will educate youth in the schools to the dangers and possible consequences that come from making unhealthy decisions around underage drinking.  The campaign will be put out through many channels such as print, social media and video.

Social Marketing Resources and Articles:



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Coalition Initiatives

Click below to learn more about each initiative.

Sticker Shock Campaign

A Sticker Shock Campaign is a project where the community, youth and alcohol retailers all work together to combat minors getting access to alcohol.

Social Norms Campaign

One commonly known component of social norming is ‘peer pressure.’   Regardless of age, peer pressure is a part of most people’s lives.

Social Marketing Campaign

Social Marketing uses the principals that advertising uses, but geared toward social issues.

Hidden In Plain Sight

Carver Cares uses Hidden in Plain Sight as an exhibit at key events.

Photo Voice

Photo Voice is a project that puts cameras in the hands of creative youth and offers an opportunity to record and reflect upon their community’s strengths and concerns.