For over 5 years Zehnder has been charged with helping increase healthy eating choices and activity in New Orleans. Research revealed insight into the audience’s tendency to adopt bad habits at specific ages and income levels. In order to truly influence behavior changes regarding personal habits it mandated that we be delicate in how the information was delivered. Therefore, it was crucial to convey messages in a more authentic, non-governmental manner and help point out realistic, attainable goals.
Credibility was achieved by allowing the words to virtually rise up out of the community as a familiar voice. Local spoken word artists helped create and deliver stirring and memorable TV – simply hiring actors was out of the question. Meanwhile, playful man-on-the-street style radio spots successfully illustrated the health consequences and cumulative impact of eating junk food. As support posters with attainable behaviors like Eat Green and Walk More were distributed to schools. (Testing revealed a 542% increase in message linkage to STEPS, while the campaign resulted in an increase from 1.4 to 1.8 servings per day of vegetables and healthy food substitutions increased from 4.7 days per week to 6.3 per person.)
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