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Am J Prev Med. 2008 Jun;34(6 Suppl):S257-66. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2008.03.005.

Did augmenting the VERB campaign advertising in select communities have an effect on awareness, attitudes, and physical activity?

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  • 1National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, USA.



Although VERB was designed as a national media campaign, funding and donated media time enabled more-intensive advertising and marketing in certain communities. To investigate the effect of increased advertising on physical activity outcomes, six "high-dose" communities were selected to receive more hours of advertising and additional promotional activities.


Longitudinal quasi-experimental design comparing outcomes in six communities that received additional VERB marketing activities with outcomes in a comparison group that received only the national dose of advertising.


Two cohorts of dyads of youth aged 9-13 years (tweens) and one parent at baseline (2002), followed for 2 years.


During the first year of the VERB campaign, each of the six high-dose communities received 50% more advertising and conducted special campaign activities. During the second year, only four of the six communities received the larger dose of advertising and additional promotional activities because of reduced funding.


Awareness and understanding of VERB messages; attitudes about physical activity (self-efficacy, social influences, and outcome expectations); and physical activity behaviors.


After 1 year, tweens in the high-dose communities reported higher levels of awareness and understanding of VERB and scored higher on the social influences scale than did tweens in a comparison group in areas that received only the national dose of advertising. After 2 years, tweens in the high-dose communities reported higher awareness and understanding of VERB, greater self-efficacy, more sessions of free-time physical activity per week, and were more active on the day before being surveyed than tweens in the comparison group who received the average national dose.


Providing communities with a higher dose of marketing activities and sustaining those activities over time yields more positive outcomes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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