Case Synopsis

Parachute is an injury-prevention charity that has started the implementation of the Vision Zero Network to address road safety in Canada. Vision Zero aims to reduce fatalities or serious injuries on the road to zero through advocacy for policy change and road infrastructure. A large part of these goals will be accomplished through a social marketing campaign that provides resources (e.g. educational information) through a Vision Zero website and social media account (Twitter). As a registered charity, Parachute relies on funding from stakeholders to sustain its programs. Consequently, Parachute must prove to stakeholders that its initiatives have contributed to change and are worth the investment. Aiden Norman, the manager of the Vision Zero project, has been assigned the task of rolling out the social marketing campaign and ensuring the effectiveness of its resources. Aiden must determine if Parachute’s Vision Zero social marketing campaign can lead to changes in public perception, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors in regard to road safety. To accomplish this task Aiden must conduct an evaluation of the Vision Zero resources and their impact. The Parachute management team has a gold-standard evaluation method in mind yet lacks the resources and funding to employ the technique. How will Aiden evaluate the effectiveness of the social marketing campaign on a limited budget without compromising on quality?

The goal of this case is to apply theories of behaviour change and evaluation techniques for social marketing campaigns in public health to develop a suitable, context-specific evaluation plan for Vision Zero.

Case Objectives

  1. Discuss the need to evaluate public health interventions to maintain stakeholder engagement and program sustainability.
  2. Apply the theories of behaviour change to the Vision Zero campaign.
  3. Develop an evaluation plan for the Vision Zero social marketing campaign.
  4. Identify the barriers that public health organizations face when evaluating programs.

Case Study Questions

  1. What are the benefits of using a social marketing campaign in public health?
  2. Describe and apply the four theories of behaviour change (for example: Theory of Planned Behaviour, Health Belief Model, Protective Motivation Theory, Transtheoretical Model of Change)
  3. Why is it important to evaluate public health campaigns?
  4. What are the features of an effective public health evaluation?
  5. Why is it difficult to evaluate public health campaigns?
  6. What barriers does Parachute face when developing an evaluation plan similar to the gold standard evaluation performed by Preventable?
  7. How would the development of a Logic Model for Parachute’s Vision Zero social marketing campaign contribute to the evaluation?


program evaluation, social marketing, road safety, injury prevention, health promotion

Additional Author Information

Patricia Johnpillai, HBSc, BA, MPH

Pamela Fuselli, BSc, BHA, MSc, Vice President, Knowledge Transfer & Stakeholder Relations

Valerie Smith, BA, MA, Director, Solutions

Scott Watson, BA, MPA, Manager, Stakeholder Relations

Mark Speechley, PhD, Professor



Recommended Citation

Johnpillai, P., et al. (2018). On the Road to Change: The Difficulties of Evaluating Social Marketing Campaigns in Public Health. in: McKinley, G. & Sibbald, S.L. [eds] Western Public Health Casebook 2018. London, ON: Public Health Casebook Publishing.