Television Minidramas: Social Marketing and Evaluation in Egypt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Television has been extensively used to communicate health messages for over a decade in Egypt. Viewers of the evening soap operas have been seeing six commercials for family planning, oral rehydration solution (ORS), and immunizations. People of all social classes can sing the jingles of the most popular ads. The producers of these health spots use increasingly sophisticated story lines, settings, and characters representing rural peasants, played by popular and well-liked actors. Evaluation of the content and impact of these messages has lagged behind the creative sophistication of their production. This article reviews the context and content of televised health messages in Egypt during the 1980s, critically assesses the evaluation of mass media health education, and suggests strategies for more effective evaluation. The author worked for some years with a private donor agency that funded the production of a number of televised health commercials in Egypt.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-182
Number of pages19
JournalMedical Anthropology Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Egypt
  • Health messages
  • Social marketing
  • Television

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology


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