Inceasingly since the setup of the Behaviour Change Unit in the UK, we are seeing a shift in government thinking as more and more use of behaviour thinking is taking place and increasingly using digital channel as part of a holistic approach to media.

Many government public safety campaigns are aimed at changing behaviour, be it Health, Driving, Eating, Exercise etc.

In the UK, these campaigns have been done for over 50 years and a quiet revolution has been taking place in how these messages are positioned, especially in the digital age.

The reason is simple: public campaigns spend taxpayer’s money, and so  demonstrate value.The Government started questioning if large-scale paid-media campaigns are value for money and deliver results,

Campaigns are now rooted in behavioural science and designed to be digital by default a focus. It also insists that all campaigns explicitly identify partnership opportunities and deliver earned media coverage to ensure maximum return on investment.

Campaigns such as “Change4Life”  by Public Health England, & “Exporting is GREAT” by the Department of International Trade’s , begin their campaign design using behavioural change theory; focusing not just on changing behaviour, but embedding it.

Joined up thinking and communication look at the entire customer journey or marketing funnel with behavioural change-led strategies that inspire action, drive awareness, and create habitual behaviours vital to creating loyalty.

EAST is best

The “EAST” behaviour change checklist, which suggests that effective communications should be built on four pillars.

  • They must be easy for an individual to react to,
  • make the change appear attractive,
  • be social to encourage sharing and
  • be timely; delivered at the right time and context.

Increasingly the government is seeing the importance of a full-service digital mentality.

Award-winning digital campaigns such as “Say I donate” for NHS Blood and Transplant, or the “One you active 10 walking app” for Public Health England have ensured that channel planning is embedded in the creative development process.

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