That is what the Temple Health Empowerment Office is exclaiming to students this semester.
At the beginning of the semester, THEO distributed 400 posters to offices on all Temple campuses featuring this new slogan. They requested that these posters be displayed in prominent locations.
The “Do You!” posters are part of the College Tobacco Pilot Project, which THEO has been participating in since last semester. Temple is the only university campus in Philadelphia chosen to participate in this Philadelphia Department of Public Health pilot project.
So far, THEO has been using T-shirts and “quick kits,” which are plastic baggies filled with candy and smoking cessation information, as a way to popularize the CTPP. This semester marks the first time they will use posters.
The exclamation point at the end of “Do You!” might be jarring to attentive viewers of the poster, but according to Michael McNeil, the coordinator of THEO, “Do You!” is not a question.
The “Do You!” slogan was chosen by three advocates for the CTPP. They chose it because they noticed it was cropping up in students’ vocabularies.
The advocates for CTPP then introduced the slogan to a focus group of students to see if it would be effective at conveying an anti-smoking message. CTPP found that the slogan was not immediately recognizable to all students but that a portion of the students in the focus group did recognize it.
The choice of “Do You!” as a slogan represents THEO’s attempt to speak in the vernacular of students.
Because “Do You!” might be unfamiliar to some students, the posters feature a magnifying glass held to a page of a dictionary. In the lens of the magnifying glass, the definition of “Do You!” appears as follows: “Do You! – \doo ‘yoo\ v. American slang. 1: To do what is in one’s best interest. 2: To make personal choices. 3: The act of achieving self-identified goals.”
The goal of the “Do You!” posters is to encourage healthy behaviors among students. The CTPP is basing its poster strategy on the social norming theory, which, according to McNeil, “implies that people would rather be normal than healthy.”
McNeil cites research showing that most students have a misconception of how their peers are behaving. The goal of the CTPP is to let students know how the majority of their peers are actually behaving, and to dispel the lingering myth that “everybody’s doing it.”
According to surveys which THEO sent to students in the mail during the 2003-2004 school year, only 10-12 percent of Temple students are daily smokers. McNeil said that the number of smokers may be perceived as higher because students smoke in highly visible areas.
If students have more accurate information about how their peers are behaving, they might make healthier decisions.
This poster is the first in a series of posters that will feature the “Do You!” slogan. A poster to be distributed within the next few weeks will still feature “Do You!” but it will also contain a message based on the social norming theory.
Although THEO is enthusiastic about the poster campaign, it may have a tough time getting the message on the first poster across to some students.
Junior Ryan Barlow, a journalism major, said, “At first I thought the poster was an ad to encourage people to either use dictionaries or read more. I did not know it had anything to do with smoking.”
Daniel J. Kristie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.