Case Study

A multilingual campaign to promote nutrition and physical activity among CalFresh-eligible Californians.

The Challenge

Maintaining a healthy diet is difficult for many individuals but is particularly burdensome for those in CalFresh-eligible households.

Food costs, access to healthy foods, knowledge about healthy foods, and competing priorities are all well-documented barriers to maintaining a healthy diet. Our challenge is to break through a crowded marketplace of food marketing messages and deliver healthy eating facts that will create a meaningful difference over time. This project has been a collaboration with the California Department of Public Health with the support of the following State Implementing Agencies and their local counterparts: the California Department of Social Services, the University of California CalFresh Extension, the Catholic Charities of California and the California Department on Aging.

Behavior Change Approach
Healthy eating is extremely complex. Simply telling individuals to live healthier doesn’t address the obstacles they face. Many don’t understand how to live healthier within the complexity of their busy lives.

CalFresh Healthy Living addresses this by first providing specific nutritional recommendations that are tailored to fit within the realities of our audience’s budgets, schedules, and family dynamics. Next, we used psychographic segmentation to align values, attitudes, lifestyles, and interests of our audience with the reasons why we’re encouraging them to live healthier.

By showing, rather than telling, our audience how to live healthier lifestyles, and providing motivating reasons that align with their personal motivations, CalFresh Healthy Living meets CalFresh-eligible Californians where they are to motivate meaningful change.
Audience Insights
While the campaign was designed to reach all CalFresh-eligible Californians, Rescue conducted a first of its kind, large-scale segmentation study to determine the barriers and motivators to healthy behaviors across this group. Three primary audience segments were targeted based on their behavioral motivations and values:

1. "Stability Seekers" are adverse to change, such as trying new foods, and respond best to small changes with familiar foods.

2.The segment motivated by "Caring for Others" are driven by the happiness of close others, like their kids and spouses, and respond best to messages that focus on family satisfaction with healthy foods.

3. "Personal Ambition" audience is driven to improve their economic status and responds best to messages that connect nutrition to body function and health.

Each message was designed to reach one or more of these segments.
Implementation Strategy

    Paid media reaches our target audience via TV, radio, out-of-home efforts, digital experience tools, and a wide range of paid digital and social media efforts. Research findings are used to understand and identify channels where the targeted audience segments can be reached based on their online behavior patterns. A variety of carefully crafted specific educational messages, tips, tools, and reminders are featured on these media channels.
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    Interactive web experiences were designed to help the audiences identify healthy replacements to common unhealthy beverages and find recipes and tips that support healthy eating and a physically active lifestyle.
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    Statewide Days of Action are meant to mobilize local partners and stakeholders to support a single message and create momentum around a specific behavior like drinking fewer sugar-sweetened beverages.
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Early Results & Impact

In Year 1 of paid media implementation, early metrics indicate changes in knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs around healthy living.

A six-month paid media campaign in 2018 garnered over 1 billion impressions across all media channels, including over 32 million video views and more than 11,000 subscribers to weekly health tips and reminders via Facebook Messenger.

We also implemented two Statewide Days of Action that resulted in over 700 events across the state of California, reaching over 150,000 attendees. Earned media surrounding the days of action and other local outreach efforts provided over 5.4 million impressions and over 200,000 website visits. Across all media channels, we have seen engagement rates surpass industry benchmarks and are hopeful this will continue and increase in future implementation years.