Targeting Seniors for Social Marketing Communications: Recommendations for Falls Prevention Messages

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Details

Henley, N. & Pettigrew, S. (2002). Targeting seniors for social marketing communications: Recommendations for falls prevention messages. Australia & New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference, Melbourne. Victoria, Australia. Original article available here


The marketing implications of ageing populations around the world have received growing research attention in recent years. The opportunities presented by the emerging shifts in age distribution have ensured that the physical and psychological changes that occur with ageing have been examined in terms of demand forecasts for a variety of goods and services. The social marketing implications of this demographic trend, however, remain largely unexplored. We consider the characteristics of older people in terms of the needs of this audience for falls prevention information. In Australia in 1998, around 1,000 deaths and nearly 50,000 hospitalisations were caused by falls, and this health burden is expected to increase as life expectancy increases. There are many reports of clinical and occupational therapy programs designed to reduce the number of falls and the risk of injury from falls but, as yet, the value of social marketing in this context has not been reported in the literature. We consider some of the social marketing implications in raising awareness of falls without raising unnecessary fear of falling (itself a risk factor for falls), and the appropriate execution elements when targeting seniors. We use the Stay On Your Feet WA campaign as a case study.

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