Evaluating values-based message frames for type 2 diabetes prevention among Facebook audiences: Divergent values or common ground?

Patient Educ Couns. 2020 Sep 2:S0738-3991(20)30473-0. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2020.08.042. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: To effectively confront the type 2 diabetes (T2D) epidemic, policymakers and the public need to problematize T2D less as a medical and more as a social problem. An award-winning T2D prevention campaign was harnessed to determine the most successful ways of framing ads on Facebook.

HYPOTHESIS: We will observe variation in the effectiveness of ad message-frames within audience-segments.

METHODS: Six parallel quasi-experiments (participants N = 203,156) were conducted with 6 disparate audience-segments defined through the Facebook ads-manager tool. Across all audiences, we exposed Facebook users to values-based ad-frames (10-15-word appeals), assigning 7 of 11 possible frames to participants within each audience in a quasi-experimental fashion (using Facebook users’ birth-month). Engagement was measured by rates of ad video-views, unique-link-clicks and donations to the campaign.

RESULTS: Contrary to our hypothesis, we observed remarkable consistency across target audiences. Ad-frames that ranked highly with most audience-segments included Entertainment and Emotional Appeal; Defiance Against Authority Appeal; Second-Hand Smoke/Environmental Appeal; and to a lesser extent, Common-Enemy/War-Metaphor Appeal. Conclusion and Practice-Implications: Across disparate segments of society, there appears to be a set of common values that public health communication initiatives can tap into to catalyze a more inclusive movement to confront the T2D epidemic through policy, systems and environmental approaches.

PMID:32938563 | DOI:10.1016/j.pec.2020.08.042