Success Story: How the Adelante Program Uses Social Marketing to Engage Latino Youth
[We’re pleased to welcome William Douglas Evans of George Washington University. Dr. Evans recently published an article in the March 2016 issue of Social Marketing Quarterly with co-authors Elizabeth Louise Andrade, Ricardo Villalba, Idalina Cubilla, I. Rivera, and Mark C. Edberg, entitled “Turning the Corner: Development of the Adelante Program Brand of Latino Youth.”]
My recent publication, Turning the Corner: Development of the Adelante Program Brand for Latino Youth, extends recent work on health branding for behavior change to engagement in positive youth development (PYD) programs. Latino youth face numerous challenges and this project shows that development of a positive brand identity for community behavior change programs based on a PYD model can increase youth engagement. The formative research reported in this paper points the way to implementation strategies including use of role models depicted by local youth to build interest in the program. It also sets the stage for a digital media intervention in which youth role models tell their stories of program engagement within their social networks, creating a program ripple effect and community-wide engagement.
This article reports on formative research to develop the Adelante brand, an innovative program for Latino immigrant adolescents and their families. The brand applies social marketing principles used in previous health brands in areas such as tobacco control, substance use, and HIV prevention. Specific objectives were to apply branding principles as an approach to increasing adolescent engagement with, and participation in, a community-based youth development program called Adelante, which is based on positive youth development theory. We collected data in a primarily low-income Latino immigrant community, Langley Park, MD, located near Washington, DC. A total of 39 adolescents, ages 13–19, participated in six focus groups. We designed and tested a brand positioning statement, associations, a logo and graphics, and youth archetypes. We used thematic content analysis to code focus group data into broad topic areas and then analyzed the data using substantive coding to identify themes. The concepts of strength, resilience, and “turning the corner” by overcoming life obstacles and succeeding were the main themes. Latino youth face a challenging environment in which they grow up, finish school, and succeed. Adelante represents a source of support and help to turn the corner. A graphic depicting a city street corner with a darker side (past) and a brighter side (future) was identified as the Adelante logo. Youth characters named Victor and Erika, and an educational entertainment strategy, were conceived as a way to create a brand persona. Adelante is now actively building its brand to increase youth engagement in the program.
You can read “Turning the Corner: Development of the Adelante Program Brand of Latino Youth” from Social Marketing Quarterly free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from Social Marketing Quarterly? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!
William Douglas Evans is a Professor of Prevention and Community Health & Global Health at George Washington University. He is lead author of the study and co-PI of the Avance Center.
Elizabeth Louise Andrade is an Assistant Research Professor of Prevention and Community Health at George Washington University. She collaborated on study implementation and is co-PI of the Avance Center.
Ricardo Villalba is a Case Manager at the Maryland Multicultural Youth Center. He participated in youth program activities and moderated youth discussions.
Idalina Cubilla is an Avance Center Doctoral Research Associate. She participated in program activities and assisted in Adelante brand development.
I. Rivera is a Consultant in formative research activities. She moderated focus groups with youth.
Mark C. Edberg is an Associate Professor of Prevention and Community Health at George Washington University. He is PI of the Avance Center.