Kicking Goals for Health: A Game-Changing Approach to Behavior Change

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In the bustling city of Dar Es Salaam, a participatory co-design workshop held in September 2023, laid the foundation for a groundbreaking campaign aimed at inspiring men to champion their family’s health. Breakthrough ACTION and partners from Cameroon, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Tanzania identified insights during the workshop and developed two core concepts for a multichannel vaccination campaign during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament now taking place. The workshop participants included football analysts, radio sportscasters, and staff from the Tanzania Premier League, who all brought their unique viewpoints and specialized understanding of the tournament. During the workshop, they collaborated with social and behavior change experts, creative agency staff, and Ministry of Health officials from the four countries to craft messages that would resonate with football fans across the continent.

The challenges were clear. The campaign had to go beyond the superficial and inspire men to actively participate in their family’s vaccination journey, covering routine immunizations and COVID-19 vaccination. The campaign had to emphasize male involvement, without implying that only men can facilitate vaccination for their families. It also had to foster confidence in vaccination and nudge men to discuss, check the vaccination status of their loved ones, and take proactive steps to get vaccinated, if needed.

The two resulting campaign concepts leveraged the power of social and behavior change to meet these challenges.

Concept 1: Bring the Passion Home

The first campaign concept is grounded in a profound insight that resonates on both superficial and deeper levels. Men’s excitement and emotional engagement with football provide a powerful platform to drive behavioral change in their approach to family and children. Moreover, the incorporation of humor, identified through audience consultations, taps into men’s sensitivity about being perceived as good fathers.

Concept 2: Be the Champion Your Family Needs You to Be

The second campaign concept reframes vaccination behaviors as a source of celebration. It aims to break societal norms that may not traditionally applaud involved fathers.

Scoring Health Goals

These two innovative concepts present a unique approach to behavior change. By leveraging the passion for football during the AFCON tournament, the campaign seeks to tap into men’s emotions and redirect that fervor toward ensuring the health of their families. Both concepts, rooted in profound insights and humor, have the potential to create a significant impact on vaccination behavior. As the campaign unfolds, it will catalyze the transformative power of football passion and inspire men to be champions for their family’s health. After all, scoring goals on the football field is impressive, but scoring health goals for your family is a victory that truly matters.

Download Campaign Resources

Learn more about the campaign and download  TV commercialsradio spotsposters and social media posts as well as a guide to encourage communities to host events around the tournament to further promote vaccine uptake.

Written by: Beth Mallalieu, Senior Program Officer