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Assessment of Purdue Extension's New Digital Social Marketing Campaign Designed to Reach Low-Income Indiana Residents

      Background (Background, Rationale, Prior Research, and/or Theory): In Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2017, Purdue Extension launched a statewide digital social marketing campaign, “Easy As: Eat, Gather, Go,” to reach low-income Indiana women with children, the primary target audience of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed). The campaign promoted fruit and vegetable consumption, family mealtime, and physical activity. The overarching strategy of the campaign was to build and promote a website that contained information for eating healthy on a budget. Purdue Extension contracted with Altarum to conduct an outcome evaluation of the campaign.
      Objective: To assess reach and awareness of Purdue Extension's social marketing messages among the target audience.
      Study Design, Setting, Participants, Intervention: Altarum employed a cross-sectional, multi-mode data collection protocol of web and paper surveys, drawing from a representative sample of low-income Indiana residents. In total, 1,172 surveys were returned.
      Outcome Measures and Analysis: All statistical analyses were performed on the whole sample as well as subgroups. Confidence intervals were calculated to estimate significant differences among respondents at the alpha = 0.05 level.
      Results: More than one-quarter (29%) of respondents reported exposure to the campaign. Slightly more than one-third (34%) of female respondents with a child age 10 or younger were exposed to the campaign. Respondents who reported participating in one or more assistance programs were significantly more likely to have been exposed to the campaign than respondents who did not (33% and 25%, respectively). Younger respondents, ages 18 to 24, were significantly more likely to have been exposed to the campaign than older respondents, ages 55 to 64 (49% and 24%, respectively). If any respondent had a child under age 18, their exposure (33%) was significantly higher than all others (24%).
      Conclusions and Implications: In FFY 2017, Purdue Extension successfully launched a new social marketing campaign recognized by one-third of the target population surveyed. Exposure to the campaign was significantly higher among limited-resource and younger respondents.
      Funding: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—Education.

      Supplementary Data

      The following is the supplementary data to this article: