Myanmar’s first integrated social media campaign engaging millions of people in raising awareness on health risks of smokeless tobacco use
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Vital Strategies, New York, United States
People’s Health Foundation, Yangon, Myanmar
Ministry of Health and Sports, Naypyidaw, Myanmar
Vital Strategies, Sydney, Australia
Young Guns Media, Yangon, Myanmar
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Corresponding author
Ilona Van De Braak   

Vital Strategies, 100 Broadway 4th floor, New York, NY 10005, United States
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A219
In Myanmar, 18% of women and 59% of men age 15-49 use smokeless tobacco. Its related death toll is higher than in other low-income countries. Recognizing the need, the Ministry of Health and Sports (MoHS) supported the development and implementation of national social media campaign to address this significant health burden.

In November 2018, the second national mass media campaign on Smokeless tobacco included an online component to reach out to the 18 million Facebook users in Myanmar in the 15 to 35 age-bracket of which 11 million are male. The aim of the social media campaign was to make the primary audience aware of the hazards of betel chewing and, ultimately, to change behaviour. Female friends and family members, who are in the position to influence their male friends/family members were chosen as a secondary audience.

The hashtag #StopBetelMyanmar was chosen to organise the online campaign content. Between 7 October and 22 November 2018 a steady stream of posts were posted, including the campaign TV ads, a series of “Did you know?”-posts on the dangers of smokeless tobacco, and celebrity and social influencer video endorsements.

#Stop-BetelMyanmar scored an average engagement of 11.38%. This is far above the Facebook average of 0.16% (across all sectors and including commercial messaging) and also outscored the non-profit FB average engagement rate of 0.17% (Source: Rival IQ).

Adding social media to the 2018 campaign impacted positively on exposure and recall. With a total of 1,1 million video views and a total reach of 5,1 million the #StopBetelMyanmar Facebook platform managed to present a sizeable Myanmar, pre-dominantly male audience in the 15 to 35 year age bracket with campaign messaging. Reach, post, likes and page likes directly contributed to 89% recall of the campaign ads in urban areas.

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