Decade-old 'Truth' campaign gets makeover

WASHINGTON: The Legacy Foundation is taking the long-running "Truth" anti-smoking campaign in a new direction by teaming up with clothing designer Jeff Staple to produce a limited edition T-shirt, then promoting the shirt in select markets.

WASHINGTON: The Legacy Foundation is taking the long-running “Truth” anti-smoking campaign in a new direction by teaming up with clothing designer Jeff Staple to produce a limited edition T-shirt, then promoting the shirt in select markets.  

The organization refreshed the effort to take advantage of teen consumers' “passion points,” or experiences they enjoy and want to share with friends, said Nicole Dorrler, assistant VP of marketing at the Legacy foundation. The group is handing all PR efforts in-house.

“Fashion is one of the ways teens express themselves," she said. “This strategy allows Truth to use the momentum of word-of-mouth marketing, since the clientele of these boutiques are the ones passing along the message and designs.”

Now in its 11th year, a continued challenge of running the Truth campaign is trying to counter the millions of dollars that the tobacco industry spends to market its products, explained Patricia McLaughlin, assistant VP of communications at Legacy. The organization declined to release budget details.

The campaign's shirts will feature taglines like “Nicotine is as addictive as heroin, cocaine, and alcohol,” and “Tobacco products are the only product on the market that kills when used as intended.”

The Legacy Foundation wants to use the partnership with Staple to reach consumers ages 12 to 17, including tastemakers and influencers who will then share the information with their friends and their own social circles, said McLaughlin.

The organization will buy advertising with online outlets with national readership to connect with the “influencer” audience, she added. It will run spots on Hypebeast, an online fashion magazine; Complex Media, an online network reaching style-makers and trend-spreaders; and Grooveshark, an on-demand music-discovery service that brings together music fans, bands, music labels, and brands.

The Legacy Foundation is also working with eight boutiques in six markets, including New York, Washington, and San Francisco. It will target local bloggers with a fashion focus to promote the shirts.

“Connecting on a hyper-local level with a specific audience was one of our challenges for this campaign,” she said. However, it was helped by the fact that Truth's previous national grassroots tours gave the Legacy Foundation a primer for determining the way to reach journalists in select markets, added McLaughlin.

The campaign also has a heavy social media component, including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

“Social media has been an important part of our campaign outreach because of its viral, shareable nature. It really allows us to share information cheaply and efficiently.”

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