Applying quantitative approaches to the formative evaluation of antismoking campaign messages

Sarah Parvanta, Laura Gibson, Heather Forquer, Dina Shapiro-Luft, Lorraine Dean, Derek Freres, Caryn Lerman, Giridhar Mallya, Mihaela Moldovan-Johnson, Andy Tan, Joseph Cappella, Robert Hornik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article shares an in-depth summary of a formative evaluation that used quantitative data to inform the development and selection of promotional ads for the antismoking communication component of a social marketing campaign. A foundational survey provided cross-sectional data to identify beliefs about quitting smoking, that campaign messages should target, as well as beliefs to avoid. Pretesting draft ads against quantitative indicators of message effectiveness further facilitated the selection and rejection of final campaign ads. Finally, we consider lessons learned from the process of balancing quantitative methods and judgment to make formative decisions about more and less promising persuasive messages for campaigns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-264
Number of pages23
JournalSocial Marketing Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Formative evaluation
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Tobacco cessation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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