“The summer tour is a key grassroots piece [of the ‘Truth' campaign],” says Patricia McLaughlin, assistant VP of communications for the American Legacy Foundation. The “Truth” campaign is an ongoing youth smoking prevention effort that began in 2000.
The American Legacy Foundation says 80% of smokers start before the age of 18, so the campaign aims to raise awareness about smoking for youth ages 12 to 17, says Stephen Winkler, PR director for the ad*itive, which is AOR for the “Truth” campaign.
The effort traveled with the Vans Warped Tour, setting up its trucks at the sponsor villages. It also attended Tony Hawk's Boom Boom HuckJam, the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival, Jubilee JAM, and Rock the Bells.
At each stop, the crew members, who are trained in grassroots marketing tactics, spoke with local media, played games, handed out gear like T-shirts, discussed the health and social issues associated with smoking, and blogged for the tour's Web site.
Media outreach primarily targeted local morning shows, and some radio and newspaper outlets, as well as in-studio appearances with local TV stations.
The team made nine in-studio appearances at local TV stations, including one morning show in Spokane, WA, where crew members appeared in 20 segments.
Crew members handed out 57,000 pieces of campaign gear, gathered 36,000 e-mail addresses, and made 60 stops in 30 states.
Next year will be the 10th year of the Truth Orange summer tour, and the team plans to continue to travel to music and sports events to reach teens.
PR team: American Legacy Foundation (Washington) and the ad*itive (Philadelphia)
Campaign: Truth Orange summer tour
Duration: June-September 2008