The organization launched the “Ex” campaign in 2008 to reach smokers aged 25 to 52 years old and provide them with tools to quit smoking, said Julia Cartwright, SVP of communications for the Washington-based American Legacy Foundation.
She noted that it is the first time that the campaign has brought in a spokesperson and targeted a specific audience.“Nascar fans smoke at a rate 33% higher than other adults,” she said. “Carl Edwards' appeal is pretty universal. We're basically going to seek opportunities to play off that increased popularity with general consumer and celebrity media.”
GolinHarris, AOR for the foundation, is providing media relations support, said Kimberley Collins, account group supervisor for the firm. Outreach is targeted at top-tier national media, celebrity and race titles, and long-lead men's and sports magazines.
“His position as such a prominent athlete in a sport that the audiences tend to have a high smoking rate is a perfect alignment,” said Collins.
The foundation posted four videos with Edwards to the “Ex” Web site and YouTube, which it is promoting through established Facebook and Twitter accounts. It also created e-cards and added an online group of Edwards' fans to the "Ex" Web site.
The February launch of the campaign was timed to coincide with recent New Year's resolutions, said Cartwright.
“Many smokers who may have resolved to quit around New Year's have relapsed,” she said. “So, this is a perfect time to come back to them and try to inspire them."