Social marketers and creative directors are often looking for insights into how to make connections between multiple behaviors to keep messages single-minded and promote behaviors that are relevant to the audience's reality. In obesity prevention programs, for example, we have found that one way to link the ideas of 'eating better' and 'being more active' is by focusing on the benefit that doing both 'gives you more energy'. Unfortunately, the scientists are not too pleased with the idea of 'more energy' as a benefit for a campaign because the scientific research for such a claim is weak.
For people who are trying to prevent the development of osteoporosis, especially by encouraging young girls and tweens to both consume more calcium and engage in more weight-bearing physical activity, the latest news may seem like an answer to prayers.
A new study from Indiana University concludes that athletes who drink chocolate milk after an intense bout of exercise are able to workout longer and with more power during a second workout, compared to athletes who drink commercial sports beverages [link to story].
However, in a nonrandom survey of people who occasionally or usually engage in various types of physical activity, the idea of drinking milk after a workout was - let's say - unpalatable. Lesson: science does not trump consumer reality either! The trick is learning to balance the scientific claims with the audience perspective. Was Yoo-Hoo ahead of its time? And stay tuned for more calcium-fortified soft drinks in the months ahead - product solutions to one aspect of the behavior change equation.