A report on a contraceptive social marketing experiment in rural Kenya.
Social marketing, i.e., the application of commercial marketing techniques to social aims, is 1 means of building family planning into the daily nonclinical structure of rural society in developing countries. An experiment in the social marketing of condoms in rural Kenya was undertaken over a 2 1/2-year period. The pretest market research and a detailed marketing strategy are described. The experimental program proved that condoms can be used to involve rural African males in the process of family planning. The experiment further proved that commercial marketing can provide a nonmedical supplement to established clinical family planning programs. Advertising was found to be necessary to the success of the program with radio and point-of-purchase materials providing the cheapest and most effective coverage. The advertising aspect of the program seems to have increased the level of family planning knowledge and practice among the target population. The success of the program is attributed to the local involvement provided by social marketing. Such a project is amenable to exact evaluation which can prove useful to future programs. It was felt that commercial distribution by mobile van units could be used with other types of contraceptives.