Alameda County Public Health Department’s Community Health Services division includes Nutrition Services programs designed to encourage health lifestyles that reduce chronic disease. The County contracted with Bay Area marketing agency Alameda Marketing Solutions to develop a pilot campaign for San Leandro’s Ashland neighborhood. To ensure success, the agency hired Ladley & Associates to provide research services.
Ladley & Associates principal Maureen Ladley conducted focus groups with adults and youth in the Ashland neighborhood to explore a range of messages and images. Based on that research, Alameda Marketing Solutions had a clear path to effective messaging for the County’s community outreach.
Develop a nutrition and active lifestyles campaign for a neighborhood whose residents suffer higher rates of medical health conditions and are underserved by full-service grocery stores.
The Alameda Marketing Solutions creative team developed messages and images they believed would be encourage healthy lifestyles, based on some research the County had conducted earlier. Ladley & Associates tested those concepts to determine the effectiveness of each and uncover any challenges that the images or messages might engender.
Ladley & Associates conducted focus groups with Ashland-area adults and young people. Images, slogans and sentiments were presented and discussed.
The focus group participants responded positively to concepts that included exercise, inclusion for people with a range of interests and abilities, and in using authentic community images. While participants understood that healthy eating was an integral part of a healthy lifestyle, messaging that directly promoted healthy eating messages proved culturally and emotionally challenging and less motivating.
Alameda Marketing Solutions’ creative team used the research findings to create the Ashland neighborhood campaign, with messaging that reflected the community’s priorities and images that included actual residents as models.
Alameda County’s Department of Public Health, Nutritional Services launched the community outreach program for San Leandro’s Ashland neighborhood. The County found that residents embrace the campaign and its community-based fitness initiatives. Based on the success of this pilot program, Alameda County will expand the campaign into new communities
“Ladley and Associates was an integral part of our marketing team for the Alameda County, Department of Public Health, Nutrition Services campaign. Prior to our team starting on the project, the county had done a lot of research with the target audiences around the subject matter of the campaign and Maureen helped us analyze that research to create targeted campaign concepts. She then conducted two focus groups, one youth and one adult to test the campaign concepts and did an excellent job in facilitating those and eliciting the information we needed to hone the advertising content. Maureen’s professionalism, warmth, knowledge, and creativity were key to the success of the final campaign.”
– Leeann Alameda, Alameda Marketing Solutions