On request of the “Nationaal Ouderenfonds,” the Dutch National Foundation for the Elderly, we developed a campaign to increase awareness about homosexuality among seniors. Homosexuality is not widely accepted among this generation. Life at an elderly home, for example, can be quite problematic for some. We aimed our awareness campaign at opening the issue up for discussion among seniors and professional caregivers.
The campaign is not only targeted at elderly, but also at care professionals in particular. They need to be able to pick up on signals, and support the people they care for. Primary care professionals must be able to open the discussion on homosexuality. As such, materials were developed to support them in this role.
For this campaign we chose a provocative image that shows the difficulty and loneliness of life when you are not allowed to be who you really are. The picture speaks volumes, and makes the message stick. The awareness campaign rolls out ads in national and regional newspapers, trade show banners, posters at care institutions, and free publicity in professional journals.
Behavior is not changed by telling it to change. Commands do not persuade people. Therefore, we always focus on the creation of new insights among our target audience. Once an insight is internalized, the behavioral change that follows will be intrinsically motivated.
Awareness campaigns are often accompanied by short and powerful mantras, which are easy to remember and repeat. Think of slogans like, “Think big,” or “I am what I am.” Captivating slogans can incorporate new insights into daily life. Another well-known slogan is “Give a hoot, eat veggies and fruit.” A mantra may at times sound like a command, but its tone of voice makes all the difference.
The awareness campaign consists of two images, both provocative in their own way. For more information on the campaign and the materials that were developed for care professionals, please visit this webpage of the Nationaal Ouderenfonds.
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