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Preventable: a social marketing campaign to prevent injuries in British Columbia, Canada
  1. I Pike1,2,3,
  2. G Scime1,2,
  3. K Lafreniere1
  1. 1The Community Against Preventable Injuries (Preventable), Canada
  2. 2BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, Canada
  3. 3University of British Columbia, Canada


    Background Injuries are the leading killer of Canadians in the prime of their lives. On average, over 1300 British Columbians die and 27 000 are hospitalised because of injury every year. Formative evaluation revealed 76% of BC residents considered injuries a serious problem; 72% considered injuries to be inevitable and that a social marketing campaign could contribute to injury prevention in BC.

    Purpose Through a province-wide, multi-partner collaboration, the purpose was to determine the efficacy of a social marketing campaign to change awareness, attitudes, self-reported behaviours and to significantly reduce the number and severity of injuries among BC residents aged 25–55.

    Methods A multi-year, multi-faceted campaign, focused on what people can do to prevent injury was developed. Utilising TV, Radio, print, guerilla events and social media, the campaign launched in June 2009.

    Results 2 million BC customers (≈50% of BC population) were reached each week and over 100 million media impressions were generated. 50 000 residents visited Campaign recall increased 45% between June and December 2009. Ads were considered informative, relevant, credible and generated self-reflection; there was no advertising fatigue. Significant positive shifts (5–10%; p<0.05) were observed in attitudes and self-reported behaviours, and a significant reduction (p<0.05) in injury deaths was associated with the campaign period 2009–2010.

    Significance/Contribution to the Field A well-developed injury prevention social marketing campaign based upon input from, and discussion with the target audience, can result in significant changes in attitudes and behaviours, and is associated with significantly reduced injury mortality.

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