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Men’s health, reproductive health, health promotion, consumer behavior, marketing


Male-controlled contraception is limited, yet a promising hormonal male contraceptive (HMC) development in may increase options for men to share in the work of pregnancy prevention. This study examined college-aged (18–26 years) men’s and women’s perceptions of influential marketing strategy for an experimental novel HMC method, a transdermal gel. Six focus groups (n = 29) were conducted to glean insights for ad prototype creation. Ad prototypes were designed and then tested in semi-structured interviews (n = 20) to understand whether the messages were adequately representing the attributes intended while also allowing participants to contribute insights on improving appeal. A constant comparative approach was used for data contextualization and theme identification. Results provided a foundation for the creation of HMC message prototypes, aimed at increasing knowledge and uptake of a novel family planning method for men. Representation of a relatable character, or drawing on authentic experiences, aligned best with participant values. Focus groups illuminated salient concepts for HMC marketing, including humor, destigmatization, information, and credibility. Interview message testing yielded an understanding of elements participants responded most strongly to, including (1) ad sentiment and (2) trustworthiness. Findings provide a basis for understanding the placement of a potential marketing campaign to effectively frame HMC uptake as easy to use, safe, and popular while building on peer norms and group acceptability among a college-aged demographic. Healthcare providers and other practitioners can utilize these findings while engaging in family planning conversations, interventions, and message development.


This is the publisher's version of Ramos-Ortiz J, King H, DeMaria AL. Hormonal Male Contraception: Formative Research to Develop and Test Communication Messaging. American Journal of Men’s Health. May 2022. doi:10.1177/15579883221094702