The Change4Life campaign is a social marketing campaign tackling obesity issues in the UK by improving long-term health through positive changes to individual and family lifestyle. Change4Life aims to mobilise social marketing techniques through networks of media, partners and workforces, local service providers and non-government organisations to catalyse culture change and create a movement with everyone playing a part, helping to create fundamental changes to those behaviours that can lead to people becoming overweight and unhealthy (DH, 2009). According to Bellows et all. (2008), in emphasising the social marketing process it is important to develop an effective program intervention in which researchers must understand what drives, facilitates and maintains the behaviour of the target audience, as well as the channels of information distribution and communication preferred by the target audience. Change4Life aims to exploit this through their campaign.
Social marketing is a program planning process that applies commercial marketing concepts and techniques to promote voluntary behaviour change for the social good (Grier and Bryant, 2005). Change4Life based their assumptions to drive behaviour change through theory of planned behaviour, social cognitive theory and social capital theory. Theory of planned behaviour is the immediate antecedent of any behaviour and the intention to perform a certain behaviour (Rabinovich & Celia, 2009), social cognitive theory states that behaviour change can be induced by increasing self-efficacy, referring to an individuals confidence in their ability to take and persist with an action (Rabinovich & Celia, 2009), and social capital theory suggests that behaviour change will be more successful in a close linked community (Rabinovich & Celia, 2009). Problems can arise while having various models of behaviour change, as they may not be helpful or appropriate in different situations. Some models of behaviour change only focus on one determinant of behaviour, which affects certain initiatives implemented in the Change4Life campaign. It is important to test campaign initiatives against behavioural models to assess their effectiveness in reaching the target market and the behavioural change goal.
Theory of planned behaviour, social cognitive theory and social capital theory are based on behaviour change in which changes in knowledge and beliefs lead to changes in intention and finally to changes in what the individual does and their actions (Basham and Luik, 2009). Using models of behaviour change, the Change4Life campaign was not implemented well, as thorough testing was not carried out which affected the campaigns reach and effectiveness. The marketing strategy was also not measured closely and effectively with the social marketing criteria’s and theories creating uncertainty if they depicted on behaviour change theories (Crocker, Lucas & Wardle 2012).
The social marketing programme Change4Life...