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AIM Adolescent Resource Guide
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Overview of activity

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Immunization Unit used the findings of a marketing research study as the basis of a recurring public awareness campaign about adolescent vaccines.

Ages targeted

All adolescents (no specific ages)

Background/impetus for the activity

The Texas Immunization Unit analyzed adolescent vaccine coverage data to identify specific areas of the state where vaccination coverage rates were especially high or low.  El Paso (higher rates) and Dallas (lower rates) were identified as the cities in which to conduct further qualitative research to determine best practices and barriers to adolescent vaccines, particularly for HPV vaccine.

Description of activity

In 2013, the Immunization Unit contracted with a Texas-based marketing research firm to conduct a marketing research study. The study evaluated best practices and marketing messaging for the general public on adolescent immunizations, with a focus on HPV vaccine.  Separate focus groups were held in Dallas and El Paso with health care providers and parents of adolescent children. In-depth interviews were also conducted with stakeholders in the two cities.  

The Program utilized the study findings to design a public awareness campaign to promote all ACIP-recommended adolescent immunizations, with a focus on HPV vaccine. The Program contracted with a media services company to develop the marketing message and the campaign deliverables, as well as purchase media space. Incorporating humor and relatable, slice-of-life moments, a 15-second television ad and a 30-second radio ad were developed to focus on the HPV vaccine as a cancer-prevention strategy. The ads were produced in both English and Spanish. In addition to the television and radio ads, online and mobile banner ads were embedded in certain websites (eg, Facebook, WebMD); individuals clicking on the ads were directed to the adolescent immunization page on the
Program’s website.

The Program relaunched the campaign in 2014. In addition to utilizing the ads developed for the 2013 campaign, the program worked with the media services company to develop four posters on adolescent immunization, one each for HPV, meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY), and Tdap vaccines, as well as a general preteen vaccines message poster.

Role of Immunization Program and other agencies/groups involved

The Immunization Unit was involved with all phases of the campaign, including analysis of vaccine coverage rate data, focus group preparation, and design of the ads. A contractor carried out the marketing research study, another company developed and conducted the media campaign, and a third company conducted the most recent iteration of the media campaign. All of the contractors had worked with the Program before and had experience with the Program’s target audience. The communications office of the Texas DSHS approved materials for public release.


Television ads appeared during shows such as the TODAY show, Modern Family, Rachael Ray, The Simpsons and various Univision programming. The radio ads were heard on regular and satellite radio stations during typical morning and evening commute times, midday, and weekends. Online advertising included mobile, banners and pre-roll videos.  The campaigns ran for six weeks. The television ads are available on the DSHS YouTube channel, and the radio ads are available from the DSHS website. The posters were distributed to health care provider offices for display and are also available for order from the Program’s website.

Intersection with other program activities

A provider component of the campaign included online ads placed on websites frequented by health care providers. Also, to support a legislatively required strategic plan for cervical cancer that was released by DSHS in December 2016, Program partners have asked the Immunization Program to air the HPV commercials again.


The campaign was initially funded as part of the Program’s CDC cooperative agreement. PPHF funds have also been used to support the campaign.


Within the Immunization Unit, this campaign was led by the Public Information, Education, and Training Group, and also involved staff from the Assessment, Compliance, and Evaluation Group.

Implementation status

The campaign was launched in 2013 and re-aired in 2014 and 2016. The plan is to expand to a broader campaign for ages 0 to18 years and to supplement the materials with newly developed brochures.


More than 5.6 million people were reached during the six-week period. The total number of impressions exceeded 40.2 million. The program has generally had very positive feedback on the ads, and has fielded requests from local public health and from other states to share the ads.


Though contractors did a significant portion of the work, it required more effort than expected on the part of Program staff to provide input and guidance to the contractors. One staff member worked full-time on day-to-day interactions with the contractors, and other staff assisted as needed.

Other lessons learned/Advice to other programs

  • Programs need to determine how to balance their available funding between creative development of new or adapted materials versus desired placement of media buys and length of the campaign.
  • Timing and placement of advertisements depends on the target audience (e., family-friendly television shows, midday versus evening time slots). Also, diversifying the timing and placement of ads within the same campaign can broaden its reach. In addition, where relevant, ads can be targeted by geographic location.
  • Having a staff member with marketing or media expertise to interact with the contractors is very helpful.
  • For Programs with limited resources, an online campaign is most cost effective. Also, having additional content on a Program’s webpage to which the ads can point is a good way to provide more details.

For more information

Contact Paula Wells, Texas Immunization Information Coordinator, at (512) 776-6090 or

Texas Resources: Adolescent Vax Public Awareness

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
English television ad on the DSHS YouTube Channel Link Administration 11/22/2018
Spanish television ad on the DSHS YouTube Channel Link Administration 11/22/2018
Pertussis Teen Radio Ad (English) MP3 (1.15 MB) Administration 11/16/2018
Pertussis Teen Radio Ad (Spanish) MP3 (1.15 MB) Administration 11/16/2018
Meningococcal Teen Radio Ad (English) MP3 (1.15 MB) Administration 11/16/2018
Meningococcal Teen Radio Ad (Spanish) MP3 (1.15 MB) Administration 11/16/2018
HPV Teen Radio Ad (English) MP3 (1.15 MB) Administration 11/16/2018
HPV Teen Radio Ad (Spanish) MP3 (1.15 MB) Administration 11/16/2018
Texas_Teen_VPD_Poster.pdf PDF (7.98 MB) Administration 12/10/2018
Texas_Teen_Tdap_Poster.pdf PDF (8.84 MB) Administration 12/10/2018
Texas_Teen_Mening_Poster.pdf PDF (8.37 MB) Administration 11/16/2018
Texas_Teen_HPV_Poster.pdf PDF (8.49 MB) Administration 11/16/2018
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