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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 19 selectively activated by different audiences. Reflecting such notions, the majority of focus group participants felt this phase of the campaign was, “more effective than the last one.” As one viewer explains, They made a more meaningful connection. They stressed the seriousness of [HPV] more so than the first one, which I think gets people's attention better than casual conversation. The biggest thing is like…the few people who were in the commercial kept repeating the same facts over and over. One of the ways you memorize things is just keep repeating in your head… it kind of drills in your mind how significant these things are, you know, these facts that they're giving you. So it makes you, like, that much more aware of it. Most notably, the surprised reactions of the various women included in the ad generated much discussion throughout each focus group. Speaking to the notions of social learning and behavioral modeling, many students communicated the belief that the ads set in motion a balance between a woman’s actual and perceived risk of developing cervical cancer. As one participant explained, “It brings a shock factor to [the ad] and catches peoples attention.” Another added, “yeah, and they get out of it like ‘oh I didn't know that either’…it's really common, the virus. It's more common than people realize. It affects millions of people.” Such participant responses reinforce the notion that as audience members watch commercial characters react in shock to a lack of awareness, they themselves will begin to recognize and process a similar level of ignorance. Rossiter and Percy (1983) suggest the, “mere association of a product with a positively evaluated stimulus such as an attractive picture…may be sufficient to alter attitude toward the product without any ‘rational’ belief change preceding the effect” (p.112). Many scholars studying persuasive communication and advertising appeals also claim the architectural style of

Authors: Crosswell, Laura.
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COMMERCIALIZATION OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY  
19 
selectively activated by different audiences. Reflecting such notions, the majority of focus group 
participants felt this phase of the campaign was, “more effective than the last one.” As one 
viewer explains, 
They made a more meaningful connection. They stressed the seriousness of [HPV] more 
so than the first one, which I think gets people's attention better than casual conversation. 
The biggest thing is like…the few people who were in the commercial kept repeating the 
same facts over and over. One of the ways you memorize things is just keep repeating in 
your head… it kind of drills in your mind how significant these things are, you know, 
these facts that they're giving you. So it makes you, like, that much more aware of it. 
Most notably, the surprised reactions of the various women included in the ad generated 
much discussion throughout each focus group. Speaking to the notions of social learning and 
behavioral modeling, many students communicated the belief that the ads set in motion a balance 
between a woman’s actual and perceived risk of developing cervical cancer. As one participant 
explained, “It brings a shock factor to [the ad] and catches peoples attention.” Another added, 
“yeah, and they get out of it like ‘oh I didn't know that either’…it's really common, the virus. It's 
more common than people realize. It affects millions of people.”  Such participant responses 
reinforce the notion that as audience members watch commercial characters react in shock to a 
lack of awareness, they themselves will begin to recognize and process a similar level of 
ignorance.   
             Rossiter and Percy (1983) suggest the, “mere association of a product with a positively 
evaluated stimulus such as an attractive picture…may be sufficient to alter attitude toward the 
product without any ‘rational’ belief change preceding the effect” (p.112). Many scholars 
studying persuasive communication and advertising appeals also claim the architectural style of 


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