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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 21 Not only do the “Tell Someone” ads encourage parasocial connections through the aesthetic similarities shared between female viewers and commercial models, but the messages also arguably position women as the ringleaders of society’s enhanced awareness of HPV and cervical cancer. While, overall, viewers perceived the “Tell Someone” message more favorably than “Make the Connection,” discussants from each focus group voiced the concern that by strictly focusing on women, the messages discount an important segment of the consumer population. “That was the weird part to me. It's all women- in both commercials. I remember hearing like, ‘I want to tell my sister, I want to tell my mom’… so maybe one thing that this message could do is incorporate men.” Another student suggested the potential benefits of including “a guy saying ‘I want to tell my wife,’ or ‘I want to tell, you know, my daughter’...something so [viewers] don't think [the social cause] is just for women.” “One Less” Fashioning a finish to what some vindicate as a product endorsement operation, Merck offered viewers a solution to the now well-publicized social crisis and presented a call-to-action in the concluding campaign, “One Less.” By encouraging viewers to “get vaccinated” in order to become “one less” statistic, the final phase completes the three-tiered social marketing format. The “One Less” ads suggest the ‘big picture’ by communicating the vaccination’s potentially rectifying effect on the current social crisis through its direct ability to freeze current cervical cancer statistics and inoculate untainted females, eventually making this gender-biased threat obsolete. Operating on the nationally broadcasted messages building up to the final phase, the closing campaign channels consumer motivation through calculated message construction. By exploiting the previously communicated health threats in order to advance the intentions of the

Authors: Crosswell, Laura.
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COMMERCIALIZATION OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY  
21 
Not only do the “Tell Someone” ads encourage parasocial connections through the aesthetic 
similarities shared between female viewers and commercial models, but the messages also 
arguably position women as the ringleaders of society’s enhanced awareness of HPV and 
cervical cancer.  
 
While, overall, viewers perceived the “Tell Someone” message more favorably than 
“Make the Connection,” discussants from each focus group voiced the concern that by strictly 
focusing on women, the messages discount an important segment of the consumer population. 
“That was the weird part to me. It's all women- in both commercials. I remember hearing like, ‘I 
want to tell my sister, I want to tell my mom’… so maybe one thing that this message could do is 
incorporate men.” Another student suggested the potential benefits of including “a guy saying ‘I 
want to tell my wife,’ or ‘I want to tell, you know, my daughter’...something so [viewers] don't 
think [the social cause] is just for women.” 
“One Less” 
Fashioning a finish to what some vindicate as a product endorsement operation, Merck 
offered viewers a solution to the now well-publicized social crisis and presented a call-to-action 
in the concluding campaign, “One Less.” By encouraging viewers to “get vaccinated” in order to 
become “one less” statistic, the final phase completes the three-tiered social marketing format. 
The “One Less” ads suggest the ‘big picture’ by communicating the vaccination’s potentially 
rectifying effect on the current social crisis through its direct ability to freeze current cervical 
cancer statistics and inoculate untainted females, eventually making this gender-biased threat 
obsolete. Operating on the nationally broadcasted messages building up to the final phase, the 
closing campaign channels consumer motivation through calculated message construction. By 
exploiting the previously communicated health threats in order to advance the intentions of the 


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