Way2Go! Social marketing for girls' active transportation to school




Sauvage-Mar, Claire
Naylor, Patti-Jean
Wharf Higgins, Joan
VonBuchholz, Helen

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Preventive Medicine Reports


Active transportation to school (ATS) is a recognized way to increase physical activity (PA). However, girls and young women do not regularly use ATS despite the many documented physical, mental, and community health benefits. Social Marketing (SM) may provide a framework for understanding girls' perspectives of and experience with ATS and inform messages for use in a public health marketing campaign. Focus groups with 79 girls between the ages of 7 and 15 were conducted in Spring 2017 in Victoria, Canada. Transcripts and poster data were initially categorized using the ‘4Ps’ from social marking (Product, Price, Place and Promotion). Participant groups were segmented into three age categories for designing tailored messaging. Thematic analysis revealed elementary school aged participants identified health and fun while middle school participants valued socializing and helping the environment as reasons for engaging in ATS. For secondary school students, ATS was seen as a way to become more independent. All three highlighted fun and enjoyment as important benefits of ATS, and suggested positive and lighthearted messaging. Segmenting into different audiences highlighted how campaign segmentation would resonate with different audiences based on core values and beliefs. Further segmentation of the audience could result in different core values and beliefs held by diverse groups.



Active transportation to school, Physical activity, Girls, adolescents, Social marketing, Messaging


Sauvage-Mar, C., Naylor, P., Higgins, J.W. & VonBuchholz, H. (2019). Way2Go! Social marketing for girls' active transportation to school. Preventive Medicine Reports, 14, 100828. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2019.100828