Legacy Foundation debuts latest iteration of 'truth'

WASHINGTON: The Legacy Foundation, creator of the long-running "truth" anti-smoking campaign, is hoping a new set of TV spots will drive teens to social media to talk about the dangers of tobacco.

WASHINGTON:  The Legacy Foundation, creator of the long-running “truth” anti-smoking campaign, is hoping a new set of TV spots will drive teens to social media to talk about the dangers of tobacco.

The new initiative is called the “ugly truth” effort. In one of the new spots, which was released to TV networks and YouTube, the foundation is asking consumers what is “uglier:” tobacco use leading to the death of 1,075 people every day, or that 137 people die daily from second-hand smoke.

Viewers are encouraged to go on Twitter or truth's Facebook or Instagram channels to vote on which category is the most offensive. These are the first truth TV spots to run since 2010.

“With the teen audience, you have to put a steady stream of facts out there,” said Patricia McLaughlin, assistant VP of communications at the Legacy Foundation.

“The last few years have been more focused on social and digital media, but people have an [emotional] connection to our TV spots, and we decided to reintroduce TV into our media mix,” she said. “It will enhance the ongoing social media conversation.”

The organization's in-house team is working on earned media. Advertising agency Arnold Worldwide developed the ads.

The latest iteration of the truth campaign also came in response to state tobacco-control programs decreasing funding by an average of 36% in the last four years, while the tobacco industry continues to spend at high levels, said Legacy president and CEO Cheryl Healton, in a statement.

The campaign will run on broadcast and digital properties from April 29 to June 30. Spots will air on cable channels popular with teens and young people, including Adult Swim, Comedy Central, MTV, MTV2, TeenNick, and VH1.

On the digital front, thetruth.com will feature nearly 50 “ugly truth” facts as illustrations, videos, and animated graphics. Visitors to the site can track voting on them.

The organization is also targeting video-sharing sites popular with teens and young adults.

Legacy increased its outreach to mobile devices last fall with the launch of a mobile game called “Flavor Monsters.”

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