You have a choice - Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board

How behavioural science helped decrease COVID-19 anti-lockdown sentiment and hesitancy

What services we used

“We are passionate about using the power of behavioural science to improve lives, wherever we can.”

The brief

During the COVID-19 peak in South Wales, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board aimed to boost protective behaviours and tackle vaccine hesitancy by segmenting audiences in hotspots and initiating a behaviour-focused campaign.​

This campaign to engage needed to: 

  • Reach a minimum 331,200 residents across three target boroughs of Merthyr Tydfil, Bridgend, and Rhondda Cynon Taff
  • Secure an engagement rate of at least 1.5% amongst priority residents 
  • Direct at least 5,000 users to the campaign microsite over the campaign
  • Increase support of public health institutions and decrease vaccine hesitancy and anti-lockdown sentiment, based on pre-campaign baselines


The Approach

The #YouHaveAChoice campaign emphasized individual responsibility, showing how personal actions can hasten a return to ‘normal’ by underscoring the freedom of choice in behaviours, encouraging self-reflection and commitment to positive actions.

We developed and tested engaging digital assets through randomized control trials to specific segments within target boroughs, utilizing detailed targeting by location, age, and ethnicity to ensure precise message delivery.

The campaign was delivered across multiple digital channels and amplified via partners and stakeholders. 

It was augmented by media relations and local influencer amplification.

The Impact

The results exceeded expectations demonstrating the power of behavioural science to reach and engage audiences.

In four weeks we:

  • Reached 293k residents (0.86x KPI), generating 4.5M impressions
  • Secured a 9.97% engagement rate (6.5x KPI; 19x sector average)
  • Received over 574,000 views of our campaign video 
  • Drove over 18,000 to the campaign landing page (4x KPI), generating 17,800 sessions 

But most importantly…

  • -2% decrease in COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy and anti-lockdown sentiment
  • +3% increase in willingness to engage with public health instructions 
  • 93.3% positive sentiment analysis with digital content

The Behavioural Science

We conducted primary research and quantitative experiments to comprehend the evolving context and behavioral barriers, encapsulating our findings in a Behavioural Diagnostic that outlined key obstacles to behavior change:

  1. Optimism bias – “I am at less risk than others of contracting COVID-19″
  2. Desire for smaller rewards now (such as immediate freedom) vs. long-term benefits
  3. Reverse altruism – “Why should I help people I do not know?”
  4. May not see others in their community taking up the behaviour (social norms)
  5. Confirmation bias, where we are drawn to evidence that supports our existing view

Let’s make your vision a reality!

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