Wednesday, October 29, 2008

TRUTH case study

TRUTH: Anti-Smoking as a Brand


Situation Analysis:
Smoking among the children and teens was, and still is, a serious issue effecting youth all across the country. Since the beginning of cigarette sales, it has been a main focus of tobacco companies to portray people smoking cigarettes as being rebellious and “cool”. This image has gone from men to women and now the most problematic, to young children and teens. Tobacco companies have been able to increase sales by selling their products to younger and younger audiences despite efforts to educate these audiences about the potential dangers of smoking cigarettes. About 80 percent of adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18, which accounts for tobacco industries targeting young adults. Previous effects failed to address the underlying issues and change their perception of smoking. The truth® Anti Smoking Campaign came along just in time to address the lies coming from tobacco industries and force kids to act.
The truth® campaign is an anti-smoking campaign that got its start in Florida in 1997. Through elaborate evaluation and research the Florida Tobacco Pilot Program (FTPP) were able to launch their new campaign. During this beginning, Florida won a milestone victory against the tobacco industry giving them $13 billion a year for a span of 25 years and $200 million is for the state run program to fight youth tobacco use. The campaign was able to pitch to young teens the idea of anti-smoking being “cool” by directly including teen contribution to appeal to that audience. This helped to brand the image by adding a level of trust and legitimacy to fuel the movement. Teens were now rebelling against tobacco companies by joining this anti-smoking movement, rather than rebelling by smoking. Smokers were being lied to and the “truth” was being set free through this campaign. The messages produced through the truth campaign spoke directly to a younger audience in a memorable and impacting way that made them listen to the truth about tobacco companies and how it directly affected them as a consumer of their products.
As the campaign began to grow, the American Legacy Foundation took the reins in the year 2000 to control the campaign and it began to evolve into what we know it is today. The American Legacy Foundation is a nonprofit anti-smoking organization dedicated to preventing teen smoking and encouraging smokers to quit. They brought the efforts used in Florida’s campaign as a jump start on the campaign for other states. Now, truth® is the largest national youth smoking prevention campaign and the only national campaign not directed by the tobacco industry. The campaigns biggest goal is to expose the tactics of tobacco industries, the truth about addiction and health effects so teens have the ability to make informed decisions about tobacco products.


Research:
During the first year of the campaign independent surveys were conducted to collect baseline data. In addition, later on surveys were conducted to assess the success of their campaign. The surveys yielded the following results in three key fields. They were, increased brand awareness, increased behavior and attitude change, and decrease in teen smokers.
The campaign had set a goal to have 85% of those surveyed recognize them as brand and they surpassed that goal by achieving 92% before the year was over. In regard to attitude and behaviors, surveys showed students were 2.3 times more likely to say they were influenced by the campaigns message. In addition, they were able to attract 10,000 middle school and high school teens to join their youth advocacy program. Between 1998 and 1999, the number of middle and high school teens defined as "current smokers" declined by 19.4 percent and 8.0 percent respectively. Twenty-nine thousand Florida teens made the decision to not smoke during that time period, ten thousand of whom would likely have continued smoking and died early as a result.
According to the American Legacy Foundation, Research has found that the truth campaign accelerated the decline in youth smoking rates between 2000 and 2002. Twenty-two percent of the overall decline in youth smoking during these years is attributable directly to the truth campaign, according to research published in the March 2005 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.
The study, which was the first to evaluate the behavioral outcomes of the truth® campaign, found that in 2002 there were approximately 300,000 fewer youth smokers as a result of the campaign efforts. The study assessed whether there is a “dose-response” relationship between the level of exposure to the campaign and changes in youth smoking rates during the first two years of the campaign, 2000–2002. Results showed that youth who were exposed to a greater number of truth® ads or got a “dose” of truth were less likely to smoke.
Research released in September 2007 found that the truth® campaign may also be changing teens’ perceptions about how common smoking is among their peers. A study conducted by RTI International and funded by the American Legacy Foundation indicated that teens exposed to the truth® campaign have a more accurate view of the number of their peers who smoke. Teens with less exposure to the campaign believed smoking was more common among people their age. The finding is good news for the truth® campaign because teens’ perception of the prevalence of peer smoking has been shown to predict future smoking. This knowledge gives teens a new realization that they are not following the crowd by smoking. That smoking is not something that “everyone” is doing and that takes pressure of them in trying to take part in something that they thought was “cool”.
Ultimately the truth® campaign has played a major role in the decrease of smoking among children and young teens. The positive effects can still be seen today. Current research is helping to shape the ever changing campaign including its most recent launch, “The Sunny Side of Truth.”

Planning:
The truth® campaign was set to target children ages 12-17. In addition to being the target, they were also a large part of the overall process. Children were asked their opinions and ideas to help shape the campaign into something they could relate to and want to be a part of.
The campaigns goals were to communicate messages about the health effects, social costs and addictiveness of tobacco. Teens are involved in testing all truth® advertising concepts.
The “in-your-face” messages presented in their commercials are the most recognizable aspects of the truth® campaign. American Legacy Foundation went right to the source through media outlets directly marketing and advertising through media outlets. Truth® went to television networks geared to teens such as MTV, BET, USA, ABC Family, VH1, and fuse.
The truth® campaign also has their own interactive Web site that allows teens to engage in the anti-smoking movement “on their own terms”. The site includes games, videos, facts, and articles relevant to their lifestyle in order to educate and make them aware about the benefits of not smoking.
The ads themselves have evolved throughout the campaign. In its early beginnings, in the infect truth® campaign, we remember the ads with the body bags placed outside a major tobacco company representing the massive amounts of youth cigarettes were killing every day. In 2003 we saw the introduction of “Crazy World” commercials where smoking and information from tobacco industries were illustrated as a crazy side show from a circus. In 2004 we were exposed to seek truth® and connect truth® campaigns where the truth® campaign went back on the streets with questions and answers about tobacco were shown in strange ways, like on a dumpster and manikins throughout city streets.
Later on in 2006 we see the emergence of the “whudafxup” ads. The new theme presents its anti-smoking message in a more intangible, conversational manner, documentary style, often with actor Derrick Beckles. Ads include an interview with a dairy farmer about a tobacco company claim that milk is more harmful than second hand smoke, and interviews with gun store owners analogizing the non-existence of "light" bullets with the harmfulness of even light cigarettes. Also in 2006 there was infect truth® where a memorable commercial of a cowboy dressed man using an electric voice box to sing a song about, “You won’t always die from tobacco”, exposing other effects like losing your own voice box. Today the campaign has taken the “Sunny Side of Truth approach” with a new angle and new commercials to captivate their audience by putting a “sunny side” to the negative effects of smoking. For example, smoking while you’re pregnant causes underweight babies and tobacco company executives said women would prefer smaller babies. Their positive spin on this was smaller babies were easier to handle, revealing how appalling this statement really was.
In addition to advertising, truth® is always looking for new innovative ways to reach teens. They have been able to do this through various partnerships such as Virgin Mobile USA and fuse cable channel. truth® and Virgin Mobile USA teamed up to provide free air time minutes to pay-as-you-go phone customers if they viewed and responded to truth® ads.
Truth® and the fuse cable channel partnered through the Vans Warped Tour. Truth® traveled with the tour through various grass roots marketing tactics as they traveled from city to city. Fuse featured interviews and documentaries from the tour every Wednesday on there “Warped Wednesday show. The truth® presence could be seen not only at the concerts, but also on television through the fuse network.
Social networking has become one of the most effective methods the truth® campaign has taken to spread the truth about smoking.

Execution:
Various awareness tactics were executed throughout the truth® campaign. Since the beginning of its run in 1998 until now we have seen it change and evolve to cater to its target audience. The truth® campaign is able to communicate its messages about the health effects, social costs and addictiveness of tobacco through the following campaigns that have been very effective over the truth campaign course and continues to get stronger with its new ideas to reach teens. In 2000 truth® was launched at a youth summit that was attended by 1,000 teens from across the country. In 2001 and 2002, infect truth® educated teens on the facts about cigarette design and engineering. A Look Behind the Orange Curtain launched from 2002 to 2003 shed light on the tobacco industry’s marketing tactics and included such topics as addiction and the health consequences of smoking.
Next came Crazyworld in 2003 that showed teens how tobacco companies play by a different set of rules than other companies. Tobacco companies do the opposite of what other companies do with their products. While many companies recall products at the first sign of danger to a consumer, the tobacco industry makes a product that kills 1,200 of its customers every day. Connect truth®, Shards O’Glass, and Seek truth® was issued in 2004. Connect truth® used orange dots to connect together pieces of information to reveal a larger picture about effects of smoking and the chain of events from tobacco products to consumer illnesses and then to death. Shards O’Glass featured a fictitious company that manufactures freeze pops with glass shards in them, a dangerous product analogous to cigarettes. The ad is meant to raise consumer awareness about the harmful effects of smoking. Seek truth® used the Q&A format to encourage teens to ask questions and seek answers about the tobacco industry and its marketing and manufacturing practices.
Fair Enough in 2005 took a new approach to advertising with a sitcom-style television campaign that featured a cast and theme music. The commercials used tobacco industry documents to reveal marketing ideas. Truth® found, from 2005 to 2006, pointed big orange arrows at some of the people and places targeted and affected by Big Tobacco companies. Also in 2006 was truth® documentary and infect truth®. Truth® documentary used a documentary filmmaking style to capture real people’s reactions to the marketing tactics of the tobacco industry. It was called truth® documentary for the style in which the ads were shot, featuring one correspondent and a camera crew investigating the reasoning behind some ideas from Big Tobacco. Infect truth® called attention to the marketing tactics and health consequences of the tobacco industry in such a way as to “infect” people with that knowledge and encourage active peer-to-peer participation. Finally in 2008 is The Sunny Side of truth® using animation, music, Broadway-style choreography and sarcasm to illustrate the “sunny side” of smoking tobacco.
Social networking has become one of the most effective methods the truth campaign has taken to spread the truth about smoking. Social networking sites allow the truth® campaign to spread its important messages quickly and cheaply. The truth® campaign has targeted many of the most popularly used social network sites used by teens and all sites give teens the ability to play games, download screensavers and desktop themes, use do-it-yourself print tools, visit mini-sites, view TV spots, and access tobacco fact-based messaging systems, and post discussions on smoking-related topics. They include MySpace, Xanga, Hi-5, Bebo, and Facebook that includes a support truth feature where users can add it as a “cause” on their individual Facebook profiles. The Facebook “Causes” application links to more than one million nonprofit organizations, allowing users to join or create causes about which they are passionate. It also features “Truth or Dare” based on the game truth or dare. Users can either answer a question about them or take a challenge to do some “mischief” on Facebook. For every challenge completed or question answered the user gains points to move up the “Truth or Dare” leader board.
More recently, in June 2008, truth issued the Remix project where Dj’s and bands remix songs for the “Sunny side of Truth” commercials. These songs will not only be packaged in CD format but will also be available for download on the internet through a special section on the truth Web site and on social networking pages such as MySpace, Facebook, Hi-5 and others, even availability to get the songs on their mobile phones. There will also be video downloads available that show the Dj’s and bands behind the scenes making the music and speaking of why they decided to get involved in the program.
There is also the truth® tour, which launched its 9th annual nationwide summer tour on June 13 at JubileeJAM! an arts and music festival in Jackson, MS. During the tour, “crew members” interact with local youth to spread information about the addictiveness of tobacco products, the adverse health effects of tobacco use, and the social consequences of smoking. Crew members are able to connect with over 700,000 teens at popular summer events every year.

Evaluation:
The truth® campaigns success in reaching children and teens through their commercials and interactive websites is not only seen in the decline in numbers of young smokers and the increase in awareness of the campaign, but it has also been nationally recognized by many organizations for their success. They have won over 300 awards in various categories including Webby awards, honoring excellence on the internet, Emmy Awards recognizing excellence within various areas of the television industry, The Clio Awards recognizing creative excellence in advertising and design in a variety of fields,including television, print, radio, and others and
The Effie Awards honoring Ideas that Work—the great ideas that achieve real results and the strategy that goes into creating them.
In evaluating the success of the truth® campaign can be seen in the results of studies done about the advertisements. Seventy-five percent of all 12 to 17 year olds in the nation, approximately 21 million, can accurately describe one or more of the truth® ads. Nearly 90 percent of youths aged 12 to 17, approximately 25 million, said the ad they saw was convincing. Also, Eighty-five percent, approximately 24 million said the ad gave them good reasons not to smoke. Not only was truth® able to get its message across to the millions of people studied here but they were able to remember, recognize it and it made an impact on them enough to rethink their option to smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products. As stated earlier studies have found that in 2002 there were approximately 300,000 fewer youth smokers as a result of the campaign efforts. In Florida between 1998 and 1999 when the campaign was just beginning, the number of middle and high school teens defined as "current smokers" declined by 19.4 percent and 8.0 percent respectively. Twenty-nine thousand Florida teens made the decision to not smoke during that time period. As the campaign progressed and became more aggressive in its tactics and successful in gaining teen attention, the amount of responses against tobacco use has also grown.




Public Relations Expert:
We communicated with Milli Mike a Communications Specialist at the American Legacy Foundation. Since 2000, the truth® campaign has hit Big Tobacco where it hurts most—with its own words. It’s why truth® has been proven to keep teens from smoking. The campaign is able to sell itself on cold hard facts. Consider these facts presented in a news release from January 2008 discussing their most recent Sunny Side of Truth approach to their campaign which Milli provided us with,
“Consider the following facts about the tobacco industry:
- The industry has been found by a Federal judge to have manipulated the amount of nicotine delivered by its cigarettes to create and sustain addiction.1 At the same time, research indicates that nicotine is highly addictive.
- Research has shown that the tobacco industry “youth prevention” ads aimed at parents actually increased the likelihood that teens will smoke in the future
- Finally, according to the Federal Trade Commission, in 2005 the industry spent nearly 36 million dollars each day marketing its products in the U.S. alone.”

This has allowed for the truth® campaign to year after year be a continued success. Through their new and innovative ideas and commercials that catch our eye, they are able to get their message out to a target audience effectively, the present the facts. Relaying the truth® to the public is their job and their mission, and they continue to do it well.

Milli also sent us information about some of the new approaches the campaign has taken to keep is fresh and new with the changing times. This summer the truth® campaign went on tour. Not literally themselves but they did piggy back on some of the coolest events of the summer reaching a wide audience. This included Tony Hawks Book Boom HuckJam, Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, Jubilee!Jam, and Rock the Bells 2008. According to Cheryl G. Healton, president and CEO of the American Legacy Foundation, in a June 2008 press release, “The truth® tour continues to be one of the most important ways we bring the truth® youth smoking campaign to life and face-to-face with the increasingly fragmented youth audience in America, so we’re delighted this year’s tour will be seen at such a variety of events that are cool and popular with the teen audience.”

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