They Learn From Watching You

Michigan Fitness Foundation


They Learn from Watching You is a social marketing campaign designed to improve nutrition and physical activity behaviors among SNAP-Ed participants in Michigan, primarily mothers with children. The campaign utilizes USDA core messages and emphasizes that children learn healthy behaviors by watching their parents.  The 2016 campaign consisted of three messages:

  • They learn from watching you … Eat more fruits and veggies and they will too.
  • They learn from watching you … Be more active and your kids will too!
  • They’re still growing…Help you kids grow strong…Serve milk at meals.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity

Intervention Type: Social Marketing

Intervention Reach and Adoption

The They Learn from Watching You social marketing campaign targets parents in community settings. In 2015, the campaign was implemented and evaluated in 12 counties across Michigan.

Setting: Community

Target Audience: Parents/Mothers/Fathers, Adults

Race/Ethnicity: All

Intervention Components

Over the span of the campaign They Learn from Watching You has utilized a variety of channels, including billboards, bus and truck wraps, digital platforms, public service announcements, and print materials to promote healthy eating and physical activity behaviors.

Intervention Materials

Materials promoting fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity are available for a variety of channels including billboards, bus and truck wraps, public service announcements, and print materials. The campaign also has a website:

Evidence Summary

The 2015 MFF social marketing evaluation assessed the reach, awareness, and effectiveness of the campaign. Web and mail survey responses were collected from 761 SNAP recipients, examining trends over time as well as differences between subgroups. It also explored similarities and differences between SNAP recipients surveyed in 2015 versus SNAP-eligible respondents surveyed in previous years’ evaluations. Key findings from the 2015 evaluation are summarized below:

  • Campaign messages are resonating with the target audience. Respondents’ recall of fruit and vegetable and physical activity messages has increased significantly.
  • Respondents exposed to the campaign were significantly more likely to say they were thinking seriously about eating more fruits and vegetables in the next 6 months.
  • Campaign messages through digital media had high awareness levels, especially among the target demographic.
  • SNAP recipients exposed to the campaign are thinking about eating more fruits and vegetables and are more likely to have used Double Up Food Bucks.

After four years of delivering a mass media social marketing campaign, it is clear that MFF is reaching a significant portion of Michigan’s SNAP audience with healthy eating and physical activity messages. The launch of MFF’s digital media campaign, as well as the promotion of fruit and vegetable consumption through co-branded materials (Fair Food Network and WIC), had promising results in 2015.

Classification: Practice-tested

Evaluation Indicators

Based on the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework, the following outcome indicators can be used to evaluate intervention progress and success.

Readiness and Capacity – Short Term (ST) Changes – Medium Term (MT) Effectiveness and Maintenance – Long Term (LT) Population Results (R)
Environmental Settings
Sectors of Influence MT12

Evaluation Materials

Evaluation materials are available upon request.

Additional Information

Website: The They Learn from Watching You website ( includes nutrition and physical activity tips for parents, videos, and recipes.

Contact Person(s):
Michigan Nutrition Network at the Michigan Fitness Foundation
P.O. Box 27187
Lansing, MI, 48909
Phone: 1-800-434-8642