Following on from news that TV companies can now take payments for putting products on screen as part of the plot, comes news that TV dramas can have a stronger impact on boosting contraceptive use than serious news programmes.
“Researchers found that college-age women who viewed a televised drama about a teen pregnancy felt more vulnerable two weeks after watching the show, and this led to more support for using birth control.”
I wonder how soon before TV soap operas, themselves originally a way for companies to advertise their brand will become an arm of the government Ministry of Truth and start pushing social messages at impressionable viewers?
However, a warning was also given.
“The problem with using stories to persuade people is that people can interpret them in different ways. You don’t always get the results you expect,”
The recent tale of the NHS iPhone application that expected you to type in the number of alcoholic drinks you consume so that it can warn you if you are drinking too much backfired rather spectacularly. Instead of being a warning line to stay below, the application is treated as a game, with people trying ever harder to get a “high score” each night.