Impact of source credibility on behavioural responses to a mental health promotion social marketing campaign

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Social Marketing




School of Medical and Health Sciences




Health Promotion Foundation of Western Australia (Healthway) / Western Australian Mental Health Commission


Donovan, R. J., Jalleh, G., & Drane, C. (2024). Impact of source credibility on behavioural responses to a mental health promotion social marketing campaign. Journal of Social Marketing, 14(2), 250-263.


Purpose: Source credibility is a key influencing factor across both commercial and social marketing. It is perhaps even more important for the latter given that the issues under consideration generally have substantial implications for both individual and societal health and well-being. The Act-Belong-Commit campaign is a world-first population-wide application of social marketing in the area of positive mental health promotion. This study aims to focus on the perceived credibility of the Act-Belong-Commit campaign as a source of information about mental health as a predictor of three types of behavioural responses to the campaign: adopting mental health enhancing behaviours; seeking information about mental health and mental health problems; and seeking help for a mental health problem. Design/methodology/approach: A state-wide survey was undertaken of the adult population in an Australian state where the Act-Belong-Commit campaign originated. The survey included measures of the above three behavioural responses to the campaign and measures of respondents’ perceptions of Act-Belong-Commit’s source credibility. Logistic regression analyses were performed to determine whether the three behavioural responses can be predicted based on perceived source credibility. The predictive performance of the model was examined by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. Findings: Greater perceived source credibility was significantly associated with having done something for their mental health and for having sought information, and an increased likelihood, but not significantly so, of having sought help for a mental health problem. Originality/value: Despite the acknowledged importance of source credibility, there has been little published research that the authors are aware of that has looked at the impact of such on the effectiveness of social marketing campaigns. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first published study of the association between source credibility and behavioural response to a social marketing campaign.



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