‘Keep watch’ around water: short-term impact of a Western Australian population-wide television commercial
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© 2020, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. Aim: Water safety mass-media campaigns are used in public health though few are reported on in the literature. A key component is the use of television commercials (TVCs) to promote supervision of children in and around water. This article reports on the proximal impacts—awareness, comprehension, acceptance and intention—of two new Keep Watch TVCs, aired in Western Australia during the summer of 2017/18. Subjects and methods: Post-campaign, cross-sectional data were collected via online and intercept surveys. Data were collected between February and April 2018 (9 weeks). Self-reported responses (n = 257) from adults who were a parent/grandparent/carer of a child < 5 years old in a home setting were evaluated to assess campaign awareness, comprehension, acceptance and intention consistent with a hierarchy of effects and monitoring of media effects approach. Results: Campaign awareness was 32.3% and comprehension was 83.0% TVC1 and 82.1% TVC2. Of those who comprehended the TVC messages 50% intended to take action. Findings demonstrated modest but positive campaign effects, given the relatively short time frame and limited media spend. Conclusion: This study is one of few water safety media campaigns to provide insights into awareness, comprehension, intention and acceptability of mass-media campaigns to prevent drowning. Findings suggest traditional media continue to play a role in reinforcing drowning prevention messages to parents particularly in increasing awareness of how to keep children safe in and around water.
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