Effectiveness of Social Marketing Campaigns to Promote Physical Activity in Adults: A Systematic Review


Social marketing managers promote desired behaviors to the audience by tangibilizing them in the form of environmental opportunities and by enhancing benefits and reducing barriers of the desired behaviors and often utilize this framework to promote physical activity among adults. However, managers fail to include several of the important concepts of this framework that are commonly called ‘benchmarks’. This study investigated various types of behavior change interventions under a “social marketing continuum” to assess whether the number of benchmarks and the role of specific benchmarks influence the effectiveness of physical activity promotion efforts. Method: A systematic review of social marketing interventions available in 99 academic studies published between 1997 and 2013 revealed 173 conditions in 92 interventions. Results: Findings based on chi-square, Mallow’s Cp, and Logical Analysis of Data tests revealed that the presence of more benchmarks in interventions increased the likelihood of success in promoting physical activity. The presence of more than 3 benchmarks improved the success of the interventions; specifically, all interventions were successful when more than 7.5 benchmarks were present. Further, primary formative research, core product, actual product, augmented product, promotion, and behavioral competition had a significant influence on the effectiveness of interventions. Conclusions: Social marketing is an effective approach in promoting physical activity among adults when a substantial number of benchmarks are employed and when managers understand the audience, make the desired behavior tangible, and promote the desired behavior persuasively.

About the Speaker

Sameer Anant Deshpande 2Sameer Deshpande is Associate Professor of Marketing in the Faculty of Management and a member of the Centre for Socially Responsible Marketing at the University of Lethbridge, Canada and currently a Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Communications and New Media at the National University of Singapore. He serves as the co-editor of Social Marketing Quarterly and as the board member of the International Social Marketing Association. Over past 15 years Sameer has worked on numerous social marketing research projects. These have included understanding application of marketing principles to promote a variety of behaviors including responsible alcohol use among college students, alternative rides to reduce driving after drinking among young adult men, alcohol abstinence among pregnant women, hand hygiene among healthcare workers, and condom use among men of reproductive age. In addition to conducting research and publishing its findings in academic journals, Sameer has also conducted training programmes and offered consultancy on social marketing topics to nonprofit, government, and corporate sector in India, Canada, Australia, U.S., and U.K.

Date: 26 Aug 2015, Wednesday

Venue: CNM Meeting Room, AS6, #03-33

Digital Media in Disaster Recovery: Improving Accountability and Mending Community Relationships in the Wake of Typhoon Haiyan


Humanitarian agencies invested more into being “accountable to affected people” in the Typhoon Haiyan response than in any other emergency. Agencies set up a suite of feedback mechanisms for local people to communicate their concerns, including SMS hotlines which automatically registered feedback on computerized databases. But in spite of this high investment in “humanitarian technologies” to improve disaster response, this talk suggests that actual achievements have been very modest, as agencies actually failed to make substantive corrections to their interventions and strategically develop new programs based on community feedback. In some cases, relief efforts inconsistent with local cultural norms caused social divisiveness within affected communities. Drawing from two ethnographic research projects funded by UK’s DFID (“Who’s Listening?”) and the ESRC (“Humanitarian Technologies Project”), this talk reflects on the modest achievements and glaring failures of using technologies in the period of disaster recovery. It draws attention to the distorting effects of technologies, as they tend to decontextualize and de-emotionalize feedback, but also identifies the communication practices used by some agencies that deepened their understanding of local community norms. The talk also argues that communication technologies are nevertheless meaningful for affected communities in their everyday uses of media for selfies, karaoke, and dating. These social uses of technology reintroduce normalcy in the aftermath of disaster and help mend the relationships that people have with each other, their community, and the wider world.

About the Speaker

Jonathan Corpus OngDr Jonathan Corpus Ong has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Cambridge. He is currently Lecturer in Media and Communication at the University of Leicester, working on the ethics of media and humanitarianism, crisis communication, and ICT4D. He is Co-Investigator in the ESRC-funded “Humanitarian Technologies Project: Communications in Disaster Recovery” and a lead researcher in the DFID-funded “Who’s Listening? Accountability to Affected People in the Haiyan response”. He is the author of The Poverty of Television: The Mediation of Suffering in Class-Divided Philippines (2015; Anthem Press) and co-editor of Taking the Square: Mediated Dissent and Occupations of Public Space (forthcoming; Rowman & Littlefield).

Date: 19 August Wednesday

Time: 2 pm

Venue: CNM Meeting Room


Reviving old ties and creating new ones, the CNM Alumni Dinner 2015 did just that. The dinner held on 31 July 2015 at the NUSS Guild House @ Suntec City, saw close to a hundred alumni from various cohorts attending it. Joining the alumni were also the faculty members and department staff.

Alumnus Tiffany Yong (class of 2011)  wore the emcee’s hat and kick started the evening by inviting Prof Mohan J. Dutta, Head of the Department to welcome that gathering. Prof Dutta was delighted to welcome the alumni and shared the developments in the department, including plans to engage alumni better through a series of planned events such as breakfast talks, industry speaker series, cohort-based networking events and other opportunities such as internships, live projects, etc. through which alumni can contribute to the existing student body.

Assoc Prof Lim Sun Sun who has been with the department for long and who knew most of the alumni took to the stage to share her happiness at seeing the alumni gathered that evening. She soon had the crowd in stitches when she teased the crowd about singing a song to express her happiness on seeing all of them.

It was also a pleasure to introduce to all gathered our alumnus Lim Su Pei (class of 2009), who was awarded with the CNM Outstanding Alumnus Award’. The award was given to Su Pei for her contribution to the industry and society. Su Pei is a Manager at Open House – a non-profit arts organisation best known for its sell-out neighbourhood art walkabouts. Su Pei also co-founded Lightly Salted, a media and visual communications start-up. She is also a founding member of two night cycling initiatives – Firefly Night Race, a regional charity ride that raises funds for charitable causes, and See And Be Seen, Singapore’s first and only safe night cycling campaign – where she leads the administration, marketing and public relations arm. In addition, she has also managed international and regional arts business programmes held locally and across the continent in South Africa and Eastern Europe.

Lim Su Pei receiving the 'CNM Outstanding Alumnus Award' from Prof Mohan J. Dutta for her contributions towards the industry and society.

Lim Su Pei receiving the ‘CNM Outstanding Alumnus Award’ from Prof Mohan J. Dutta for her contributions towards the industry and society.

The dinner was a wonderful platform to reconnect with the alumni from various years starting from the class of 2004 up until the recent class of 2015 and this was the first time that CNM has organised an alumni event at this scale. CNM will continue to engage our alumni through various platforms and hopes to form a strong CNM Alumni family.

CNM-ALUMNI-DINNER-126See more photos from the dinner here.


CNM Media Writing Students take All Three Top positions at the Future News Competition

What a way to kick off the term!

Three of our students from NM3211 (News Reporting and Editing) won all of the Top 3 places in an international competition for aspiring journalists“Future News Competition” and will be headed for a three-day, fully-paid journalism conference in Edinburgh in September. There, they will meet leading journalists and learn more about multi-media reporting and editing. To win all three top positions at a global journalism competition is unprecedented.

We are grateful to attract to CNM faculty members such as Ms. Ee Lyn Tan, an award winning journalist covering the health beat who joined us after having worked  at Reuters. In 2009, she received an Asia Human Rights Press Award for an article on maternal mortality in Afghanistan, and her students reflect Ee Lyn’s high calibre work in journalism. The work of the students can be accessed at the publication attached to the Module “Campus Eye.” The link to Campus Eye is here:http://blog.nus.edu.sg/nm3211/. Congrats Ee Lyn!

Here is some details about the Future News Competition from their media statement:

“Inspiring the next generation of global citizens – Future NEWS 2015 aims to inspire talented young people with media ambitions to become journalists with a passion for freedom of the press and a belief in media integrity.

It will expose over 100 undergraduates aged 18 to 25 to leading international media figures in areas from editorial management to news, sports and business reporting and give them hands-on practice in everything from video to writing and social media.

The delegates are from 20 countries with varying levels of media sophistication and editorial balance. Given the rigorous selection process, many can be expected to become the editors and opinion formers of the future in their countries with an understanding of ethical standards and an appreciation of and affection for British values. These participants’ mere attendance will bring extensive coverage in local media.”

The event in the Scottish Parliament building on September 4-6 is unique in the international media calendar. It will help secure Britain around the world as a centre of excellence in media values and training.

Future NEWS 2015 is supported by the British Council, international media company Reuters, the main British university journalism schools along with a large partnership of international and British media organisations.

The conference is organised by the Scottish Government, the British Council and Reuters. It is backed by the following media companies – Herald &Times Group, Newsquest Media Group, Tinopolis

Interactive, Reuters, STV, DC Thomson and CNN – as well as the following Schools of Journalism  – Cardiff University, City University, Glasgow Caledonian University, Queen Margaret University, Strathclyde University, Napier University, Bournemouth University.

Of these three students, two – Desmond Koh and Celine Leong – are NM majors and one – Chng Yan – is from law. In fact, you can see their work on Campus Eye.

I am thrilled beyond words because they didn’t just win, but they scooped the top three places.

– Prof Mohan J.Dutta (Head of Department, Department of Communications & New Media)

Reproduced from CNM Head’s Desk 


More than 200 students graduated from the department this year from the various undergraduate programmes and the postgraduate programmes. Their graduation was marked by the Commencement Ceremony on 14 July 2015 at the University Cultural Centre (UCC). CNM Alumnus and Managing Director, TRPC Pte Ltd, Ms Lim May Ann, was the guest speaker for the ceremony. Mead John Fletcher who graduated with a PhD was the second valedictorian for the ceremony and shared about his journey towards attaining his PhD degree.

The Commencement ceremony was followed by the CNM Graduation Party, which was held at the University Hall from 2.30pm to 4.30pm. Graduates, parents, staff and faculty members came together to celebrate the success of the graduating cohort. Speaking at the event were two guests; Ms Lim May Ann, who was the Guest of Honour and Ms Lou Dela Pena, CEO, Publicis Singapore who was the Special Guest Speaker. Both of them shared their words of wisdom on how to pursue your dreams, build your career and be successful.

The CNM Graduation Party was also a platform to recognise outstanding staff for their contributions to the department and outstanding students from the graduating cohort. The following awards were given out; CNM Best Teacher Award to Asst Prof Alex Mitchell and Dr Tracy Loh, CNM Best Teaching Assistant Award to Jodie Luu, CNM Outstanding Researcher Award to Asst Prof Iccha Basnyat, CNM Outstanding Faculty Service Award to Asst Prof Jude Yew and Ms Francesa Nathan and the CNM Outstanding Service Award to Ms Gayathri Dorairaju. In the student awards category Charlotte, Lee Shi Yi received the ‘CNM Best Student Award’ for her overall performance while Kellyn, Lee Miao Qian won the ‘CNM Best Honours Student Award’ for her overall performance and ‘CNM Best Student for Social Impact Award’, for her contributions to society.

The party ended with smiles, hugs, goodbyes, photos and more photos.

We wish the class of 2015, all the best! To view photos from the graduation party. Click here.

Graduates from the Class of 2015 with faculty members and staff

Graduates from the Class of 2015 with faculty members and staff