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J Adolesc Health. 2008 Jul;43(1):71-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2007.12.009. Epub 2008 May 12.

POWER for reproductive health: results from a social marketing campaign promoting female and male condoms.

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Colorado Health Outcomes Program, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Aurora, Colorado 80045-0508, USA.



To evaluate effects of a 6-month social marketing campaign on awareness of, attitudes toward and use of female as well as male condoms for 15-25 year-old-women.


Using a time-space sampling methodology, we conducted a cross-sectional survey of 3407 women at pre-campaign in 12 western U.S. neighborhoods on female and male condom awareness, attitudes, and use. Six of the 12 study neighborhoods were randomly selected to receive the POWER social marketing campaign designed to impact condom knowledge, attitudes, and use. The campaign was followed with another cross-sectional survey of 3,003 women in all 12 study neighborhoods on condom knowledge, attitudes, use and awareness of POWER materials. We compared pre-and post-campaign surveys to determine the efficacy of POWER and conducted post hoc analyses on post-campaign data to determine if exposure to POWER was related to higher levels of positive condom attitudes and norms and condom use.


We found no differences between neighborhoods with and without the POWER campaign with regard to our primary outcomes. To diagnose reasons for this null effect, we examined outcomes post hoc examining the influence of POWER exposure. Post hoc analyses show some evidence that exposure to POWER was associated with condom use. In the context of the nested trial, this raises concerns that post test only evaluations are limited.


Establishing the efficacy of a social marketing campaign is challenging. This group randomized trial showed a null effect. Social marketing campaigns may need to have more media channels and saturation before they can show behavioral effects. Using a nested design with randomization at the community level and probability sampling introduces rigor not commonly seen in evaluations of social marketing campaigns.

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