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Educational Crusade or Product Masquerade? Exploring the Commercialization of Social Responsibility in America's Healthcare Industry
Unformatted Document Text:  COMMERCIALIZATION OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY 17 believe that, as members of the female community, they have a social responsibility to “tell someone” about the threatening virus (Crosswell & Ruth, 2009). Modeling common characteristics indigenous of second stage social marketing efforts, the “Tell Someone” ads statistically emphasize to viewers the percentage of women unaware of the viral infection, encouraging audience members to spread awareness to women throughout the community. Aside from promoting word of mouth marketing among viewers and non-viewers, this phase seemingly aimed to alleviate the negative social impact expected from concerned publics following FDA’s approval of the cervical cancer vaccination (Crosswell & Ruth, 2009). Consisting of two commercials, the “Tell Someone” ads demonstrate similar advertising constructs and boast an array of diverse female character attributes. With the exception of a shot filmed outside a hospital building, both commercials are set in a park-like environment. Though the script offers slight alterations, the two ads present similar information and encourage women to tell someone they know about HPV. Many of the females featured in the ads are wearing “Tell Someone” t-shirts, visually and aurally reinforcing the campaign’s plea for the audience to educate a loved one about the deadly connection between HPV and cervical cancer. Though the commercials do not specifically mention Merck, the company’s logo appears in the upper right- hand corner during one of the final frames in the first commercial, rotating to the upper left-hand corner in the second edition. The two advertisements provide the campaign’s website (, a number to call for more information, and conclude with a white screen illustrating the “Tell Someone” slogan. The researcher selected the first version of the “Tell Someone” series (identified as commercial one on the campaign’s website) for participant viewing and group discussion.

Authors: Crosswell, Laura.
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believe that, as members of the female community, they have a social responsibility to “tell 
someone” about the threatening virus (Crosswell & Ruth, 2009). Modeling common 
characteristics indigenous of second stage social marketing efforts, the “Tell Someone” ads 
statistically emphasize to viewers the percentage of women unaware of the viral infection, 
encouraging audience members to spread awareness to women throughout the community. Aside 
from promoting word of mouth marketing among viewers and non-viewers, this phase seemingly 
aimed to alleviate the negative social impact expected from concerned publics following FDA’s 
approval of the cervical cancer vaccination (Crosswell & Ruth, 2009).  
Consisting of two commercials, the “Tell Someone” ads demonstrate similar advertising 
constructs and boast an array of diverse female character attributes. With the exception of a shot 
filmed outside a hospital building, both commercials are set in a park-like environment. Though 
the script offers slight alterations, the two ads present similar information and encourage women 
to tell someone they know about HPV. Many of the females featured in the ads are wearing “Tell 
Someone” t-shirts, visually and aurally reinforcing the campaign’s plea for the audience to 
educate a loved one about the deadly connection between HPV and cervical cancer. Though the 
commercials do not specifically mention Merck, the company’s logo appears in the upper right-
hand corner during one of the final frames in the first commercial, rotating to the upper left-hand 
corner in the second edition. The two advertisements provide the campaign’s website 
(, a number to call for more information, and conclude with a white 
screen illustrating the “Tell Someone” slogan. The researcher selected the first version of the 
“Tell Someone” series (identified as commercial one on the campaign’s website) for participant 
viewing and group discussion.  

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