COLUMBUS, OH: The Ohio Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Foundation (TUPCF) is working with Northlich PR to roll out the second phase of stand, its statewide youth smoking-prevention campaign.
Debunkify, the second phase of the four-year-old campaign, launched earlier this month with a four-week teaser campaign, which involved 78 teams, comprised of stand members and adult supervisors, plastering Ohio with life-size orange cut-outs of teenagers, square stickers, and chalk sketches. TUPCF also put out print, Web, and broadcast advertising that simply said, "DEBUNKIFY," and later with the message, "Kill the myths before they kill you."
TUPCF is expected to spend $6.9 million for campaign advertising, media buys, PR, and grassroots and interactive elements in 2006. The PR and grassroots element billings are approximately $530,000.
Stand began in 2002 as an effort to reach out to Ohio's youth to combat the $779 million tobacco industry in Ohio. The grassroots movement differentiates itself from the national anti-tobacco campaign, truth, by focusing on a different message. While working with focus groups on the campaign, stand found that kids in Ohio did not respond well to an attack on Big Tobacco.
"Tobacco is a part of our history and is a big part of agriculture in many states, so we had to tackle this issue in a different way," said Jessica George, head of the stand account at Northlich. "Truth's target audiences and their messages are very different than ours. They focus a lot on manipulation by tobacco companies."
The integrated advertising and grassroots PR campaign targets 12-24 year-olds, split into three categories, in an effort to correct misconceptions about tobacco. The budget is undisclosed.
"There is the original 12-18 group, and then the college young adults, and straight-to-work young adults - high school graduates who went right into the workforce," George said. "The difference is the myth perceptions about tobacco use, the level of usage, and the reason why they use. They are really distinct audiences."
The Debunkify campaign will then move forward with a ten-month promotional tour beginning in September. Two stand crew members will be traveling around Ohio providing teens and young adults with tools to combat the pressure to smoke.
"The main message is that this movement is by kids for kids," George said. "It's less about shoving health messages in kids' faces and more about empowering kids to affect change. We know that the health messages don't resonate with these kids. They want to be able to make change."