Development of the place-based Adelante social marketing campaign for prevention of substance use, sexual risk and violence among Latino immigrant youth

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Health Education Research








Immigrant Latino youth represent a high-risk subgroup that should be targeted with health promotion efforts. However, there are considerable barriers to engagement in health-related programming. Little is known about the engagement possibilities of social marketing campaigns and digital strategies for traditionally € hard-to-reach' immigrants, underscoring the importance of testing these techniques with immigrant Latino adolescents. We developed and piloted a place-based social marketing campaign in coordination with the branded, Positive Youth Development-based (PYD) Adelante intervention targeting risk factors for co-occurring youth substance abuse, sexual risk and violence. Building on prior research, we conducted a four-phase formative research process, and planned the Adelante social marketing campaign based on findings from one group interview and ongoing consultation with Adelante staff (n=8) and four focus groups with youth (n=35). Participants identified four overarching campaign themes, and suggested portrayal of resilient, proud youth who achieved goals despite adversity. Youth guided selection of campaign features and engagement strategies, including message/visual content, stylistic elements, and a mixed language approach. We developed a 12-month campaign to be delivered via print ads, multi-platform social media promotion, contests, youth-generated videos, blog posts, and text messaging. We describe the process and outcome of campaign development and make recommendations for future campaigns.