Social marketing has been a highly successful method for distributing
the male condom, especially in the AIDS era. Spermicides have
also been distributed through social marketing programs but
on a much smaller scale.
Social marketing refers to the application of commercial
marketing techniques to achieve a socially beneficial goal by
using advertising, product promotions and attractive pricing
structures. Social marketing programs, which are generally subsidized,
work around the so-called four ps: products,
prices, places and promotion. That is, these programs provide
products at locally affordable prices,
in readily available places, using
creative promotion techniques. In
designing social marketing programs, the products, prices, places
and promotion must be carefully considered. The involvement
of the potential clients in the design of strategies and materials
for the campaign is essential for success.
This approach, which was used as early as the 1970s in parts
of Asia, has been widely expanded in recent years, focusing
on HIV prevention. Even in these AIDS prevention campaigns,
promotion has often emphasized family planning as well. In countries
where aggressive condom social marketing campaigns have been
developed, the number of condoms distributed has skyrocketed.
For example, in Zaire, condom sales increased from 300,000 in
1987 to 18.3 million in 1991. In one study, three of every four
persons reported that they bought the condoms for AIDS prevention
as well as family planning.