Evaluation of the awareness of Western Australian SunSmart campaigns between 2008 and 2022

Ying Ru Feng, Sarah Ward, Derrick Lopez, Carolyn Minto, Sally Blane, David B. Preen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Issue Addressed: It is unknown whether SunSmart health promotion campaigns in Western Australia are still effectively reaching their target audience of young people (under 45 years). This study examined trends over time in awareness, relevancy and believability of SunSmart advertisements and identified socio-demographic characteristics and risk factors associated with campaign awareness.

Method: Linear regression and log-binomial modelling were undertaken using data from the annual SunSmart post-campaign evaluation surveys between 2008/2009 and 2021/2022. SunSmart campaigns were analysed and categorised into the following themes: (1) personal real-life stories; (2) daily activities/sun exposure leads to skin cancer; or (3) cartoon/animated.

Results: Between 2008 and 2022, there were declines in total awareness (74.2% to 20.4%), unprompted awareness (33.7% to 4.9%) and relevancy (89.5% to 54.8%) of SunSmart advertisements (representing annual percent decreases of 3.6%, 3.1% and 1.8%, respectively). However, believability remained high over time (>94% in each annual survey). Trends were inconsistent between the awareness of campaign themes and socio-demographic characteristics and risk factors. Several campaigns had greater awareness in their subsequent years, compared with the first campaign year.

Conclusion: In more recent years, SunSmart advertisements and campaigns may not have reached their target audience. In addition to socio-demographic characteristics, particularly age, advertisement factors may also affect the awareness of specific campaigns.

So What? Given the changing advertising landscape and its rising costs, ongoing funding is pertinent to increase the reach of future SunSmart campaigns. Increasing advertisements on alternative platforms and designing campaigns which separately target adolescents and adults need to be considered.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Feb 2024


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