Aahat ('An Approaching Sound'), was the centerpiece of the Pakistan Ministry of Population Welfare's Family Welfare Campaign in 1992.
The aim of this programme was to produce and broadcast a television drama targeting middle and lower-middle income Pakistani men and women, designed to increase:
- awareness and positive attitudes toward birth-spacing;
- husband-wife communication on issues related to birth-spacing (family size, gender preference, maternal/child health);
- behavioral intention to visit clinics for family planning counseling; and
- demand for contraceptive services.
The six-part television serial was broadcast during prime-time and was promoted by television and radio spots. In addition, field-based print materials were developed and used to reinforce the messages presented in the social drama. Other campaign activities included a promotional audience "write-in" about the drama, a research dissemination symposium, "Communication Leads the Way," and an "Evening with Aahat," award-presentation ceremony.
In total, the campaign included:
- 6 50-minute episodes of Aahat, broadcast once a week for six weeks in 1991
- 2 30-second television spots, aired a total of 60 times
- 1 30-second radio jingle promoting birth spacing, aired 23 times
- 1 poster promoting birth spacing, 10,000 copies
- 1 leaflet promoting birth spacing, 10,000 copies
- 1 press kit promoting Aahat
- 9 press insertions promoting Aahat
- 1 English-subtitled short version of Aahat, approximately 2.5 hours
Aahat reached approximately 20 million viewers with family planning messages. The series generated over 100 articles in local papers, as well as television coverage. As a result of the popularity of Aahat, another pro-social television series, Nijaat, was created in 1992.
According to the source, the campaign represents the first time that modern methods of contraception have been successfully promoted on the media.
The Johns Hopkins University/Population Communication Services, Pakistan Ministry of Population Welfare, and Pakistan Television Corporation.
"The Use of Mainstream Media to Encourage Social Responsibility: The International Experience" - The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation - Prepared by: Jennifer Daves and Liza Nickerson - The Media Project.