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NAQC Newsroom: Tobacco Control

truth® Update, Spring 2014

Wednesday, May 7, 2014  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov

What's happening with the truth® youth smoking prevention campaign, you ask? We are excited to provide updates as the campaign continues to evolve and connect with teens through their 'passions' - like gaming, art, music and sports. Check out the latest anytime at

Digital Partnerships Help truth® Click with Teens

New partnerships are helping the truth campaign reach young people with life-saving anti-tobacco messages.

One partnership launched earlier this year with the online video platform Hulu. The partnership integrates truth into the original six-part series "My Side of the Sky".The Hulu weekly series follows students during their time at Oregon's Windells Academy, an action sports high school for talented snowboarders, skateboarders, skiers and other athletes.

truth is featured in the series as a sponsor of the Windells Academy winter skate competition. One episode features the truth tour manager as he introduces students to the campaign. Also, viewers can see truth tour riders interacting with teens around the iconic orange truth truck.

The partnership with Hulu includes: truth commercials running before programming with links to truth social media channels; static banner ads that drive users to; and "behind-the-scenes" video interviews with "My Side of the Sky" talent.

Another online partnership provides content for truth's Facebook page with the help of the web comic artist duo known as Buttersafe. Buttersafe contributed episodes of "Normal Friends", a weekly online comic that explores the everyday adventures of a group of friends. Web comics are popular among the truth campaign audience and we hope to gain new followers by adding "Normal Friends" to the truth Facebook page.

A third partnership involves a collaboration with Jason and Jacob Fu ("The Fu") and Joule Thief, best known as Internet Icon Show contestants and YouTube personalities. truth is working with these online celebrities to produce shortvideos that integrate tobacco facts into their unique storytelling style. The videos can be found on the truth YouTube channel YOMYOMF.

Mobile Game Makes Music for Players

Graffiti Collective - the third mobile game released by truth - includes a feature that allows players to earn free song downloads as they complete missions and level up within the virtual street art game.

Musicians and wordsmiths such as Atlanta-based Dell Harris and self-described emcee-activist Jason "PyInfamous" Thompson are two of the artists providing a mix of reggae, hip-hop, rap and other sounds in the Graffiti Collective game.

The Graffiti Collective game was inspired by a 1998 document found in Big Tobacco's files that discusses covertly contacting graffiti artists to ask them to paint for them in key locations. In the game, players use graffiti as a tool, ridding their "home turf" of propaganda from a bunch of corporations masquerading as graffiti artists.

Graffiti Collective is available for free download on select Apple and Android devices.

New Agency Partners Selected

Two new agency partners have been named to support truth as the campaign prepares for an infusion of new and significant investments in paid advertising later this year. The new national paid advertising will supplement truth's extensive grassroots and digital outreach in order to fully surround the youth audience the campaign is designed to reach.

Los Angeles-based agency 72andSunny was named in February as the new creative partner for truth. 72andSunny - recognized for creating cultural impact on behalf of brands - will help the truth campaign integrate traditional, digital and social marketing platforms. Trade publications Advertising Age and Adweek named 72andSunny as "Agency of the Year" in each of the past two years.

In December New York-based MediaComwas announced as the truth campaign's new media planning and buying agency. MediaCom will help power paid and owned media efforts intended to engage truth's target audience.

The pairing of 72andSunny and MediaCom as new truth agency partners comes at a time when the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are both in the marketplace with bold, anti-tobacco mass media initiatives. Together, with an expanded truth campaign, these campaigns have the potential to serve as catalysts to spark a second wave of historic declines in tobacco use.

The agency selections conclude a periodic review process that ensures that Legacy's public education campaigns are benefitting from the best thinking in the marketplace and that all of the foundation's assets are used to their fullest advantage.

Highlights from the 14th truth® Grassroots Tour

The truth campaign hit the road again last year delivering its important messages about tobacco use to teens and young adults throughout the country as part of the 14th annual grassroots tour.The tour, part of the nation's largest smoking prevention campaign for youth and young adults, comprised of two separate groups of truth "tour riders" that traveled to music festivals, sporting events, community gatherings, gaming conventions, and other events popular with teens and young adults.

At each stop along the way, tour riders played games, held dance and trivia contests and even judged talent shows for those willing to show off their talents in the truth zone. Participating teens could also win truth-branded items including T-shirts, hats, telephone cases and skate decks. Each truth-branded item includes facts about tobacco and an on-trend design inspired by that fact.

Last year's tour reached an estimated two million teens and young adults who were exposed to truth messages between May and October. Combined, the two tour groups logged more than 134 days in the field, visiting 68 cities and 30 states. One highlight of the 2013 tour was the youth participation element, where teens who visited the truth zone were challenged to vote online for the "ugliest" fact about tobacco use and the tobacco industry. You can find out which fact won the voting at

Another highlight of the 2013 touring season was truthLIVE - a college music tour - that featured free concerts by OneRepublic and TeamMate at five college campuses. truth tour riders and the truth truck were at each of the campuses, capping a very successful touring season.

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