The timing of when we are asked to do something has a huge effect on our likelihood of doing it. For instance if a request is relevant to where we are and what we are doing right now, we are more likely to do it. Similarly if we’re asked to do something challenging, like giving up chocolate, we’re much more likely to agree if the timing is delayed a couple of weeks. People are also more receptive to acting on a request when already managing change and thus out of their habitual groove.
Making it live
The NHS wanted to prevent teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease and excessive drinking. Targeting the right people at the right time was crucial, so we made a series of videos that were viral so were watched when the viewer was open to the message, as they had chosen to view it. We also ensured relevance and credibility through user-generated videos, using the behavioural insight called ‘social norms’ to add impetus to action.