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Entertainment Education for Creatively Changing Health Behaviors

featured / communication research / public health / advertising / communication
After seeing the Academy Award-winning movie The Big Short, I completely agree with the praise the film received at the Oscars for distilling complicated economic concepts into terms that regular folks like you and I can understand. The Big Short is just one example of how entertainment media can be successful in educating people—not despite the fact it's entertaining but rather because it's entertaining. Entertainment education is a communication strategy in which theories of communication, education, psychology, and drama are used to create an education and behavior change message for addressing social issues. That message is then woven into an appealing and persuasive media format to reach a specific media audience. Entertainment education has been used in countries around the world to successfully increase understanding... more
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Deadpool not the only antihero in town - Communication's role in the Zika virus narrative

featured / communication research / public health / advertising
"Surprise, this is a different kind of superhero story." Deadpool. There's just something about an R-rated, violent, off-color, superhero movie that screams: risk communication and public health. No, it's just me? Everyone has a favorite antihero though. Same story (even if self-mocking), different kind of character. Communication too can find itself unexpectedly taking center stage in public health crisis response narratives often dominated by medicine and natural sciences. For example, communication was a theme of last year's WHO leadership statement on the Ebola response. We have learned the importance of communication - of communicating risks early, of communicating more clearly what is needed, and of involving communities and their leaders in the messaging…We will communicate better. We commit to provide... more
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From "Netflix & Chill Night" to StonerSloth - The Road to (Messaging) Hell is Paved with Good Intentions

featured / communication research / public health / advertising
Sometimes bad things happen to good people. And sometimes bad things happen to good causes. One day you're celebrating a new campaign and the next you're pulling an ad after a segment on the Daily Show calls attention to the inherent (or sometimes unanticipated) risk associated with the messaging strategy. Daily Show Don't Jerk Take last week for example. Suddenly everyone seemed to be as enthusiastic about alcohol messaging as we are. A recently released infographic intended to raise awareness of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders had struck a chord - but, unfortunately as it turned out, not in a good way. Reactions like shaming, shady, scare tactics, condescending, and offensive certainly would have... more
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