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Become An EX

Case Study: Become An EX Campaign

The American Legacy Foundation is a national nonprofit at the forefront in the battle against smoking addiction. They have two very popular campaigns aimed at distinct audiences. The Sunny Side of Truth targets youth and young adults on prevention through guerrilla-style web videos. Become an EX targets current smokers that want to quit through a national alliance of partners.

The EX Campaign

Help active blue-collar smokers who are struggling to quit.

This interactive outreach applies multiple strategies to reach smokers. Created by ex-smokers, the campaign took a different approach to cessation education. Rather than employ the negative impact language (i.e. “smoking is bad for you”, “you will die”) common to anti-smoking campaigns in the past two decades, EX adopted a “we understand” voice. Working with famed cessation expert Dr. Hurt from the Mayo Clinic, EX first helps people that certain triggers lead people to smoke. Once one knows their triggers, they are much better equipped to disengage from their smoking habit through separation exercises.

Become An EX

Dr. Hurt’s Video Modules

Program development centered around a free self-guided website for English and Spanish audiences. The site used Flash video and a complete program overview aimed at encouraging enrollment. Visitors are able to learn about common triggers and suggestions for avoiding/combating those triggers. Web tools like surveys, writing exercises, a cigarette tracker and instructional videos are accessed from an individual’s dashboard and assist in their quit attempt.

Become An EX

The EX Plan dashboard
Become An EX

Users track their cigarettes.
Become An EX

Humorous animations teach about triggers.
Become An EX

EX helps to separate from triggers.
Become An EX

Emails are sent before and after the Quit Date.
Become An EX

The Panic Button offers reassurance.

On the back-end, BecomeAnEX.org provides comprehensive reporting tools for Legacy’s Research team. This data coupled with direct and solicited feedback from users contributes to program evolution and improvement and leads to areas ripe for further study.

An individual’s EX plan is augmented by the “EX Community”, a series of online social networks in popular social media platforms, beginning with Ning.com. The community embraces tactics and advice from competing cessation “brands” because our philosophy is whatever works for you, do it.

Become An EX

The EX Community is one of the largest Ning.com networks.
Become An EX

Members offer each other encouragement and support.

Legacy helped form the National Alliance for Tobacco Cessation, a growing group of states, public health organizations, nonprofits, foundations and corporations dedicated to help people quit smoking. The EX Plan works through the NATC to offer co-branded support, resources and stronger messaging. GSD&M helped Legacy pitch to prospective alliance members to bring sustainable growth to the campaign.

Become An EX

The NATC promotes EX and provides resources.
Become An EX

EX reaches out through many state agencies.
Become An EX

National nonprofits and foundations support EX.
Become An EX

An EX microsite for Merrill Lynch employees

Promoting the EX Plan encompassed a broad swath of media, including public Relations, press conference, experimental media such as trigger voting ashtrays, coffee truck wraps and coffee sleeves. Broadcast efforts included TV & radio spots and the interactive media flight focused on primetime news and sports sites. The campaign also aimed to reach people through social media outlets as well as via past campaigns, BobQuits and MaryQuits.

Relearn Triggertown

Most recently, the campaign launched RelearnTriggertown.com, an engaging microsite and series of standard and rich banners aimed at younger smokers. This site features a hero character in a city full of smokers and helps to raise self-awareness of the daily “triggers” that lead one to smoke.

Relearn Triggertown

Relearn Triggertown teaches about smoking triggers.
Become An EX

This vignette illustrates several popular triggers.
Relearn Triggertown

Driving, traffic and stress trigger smoking.
Become An EX

Visitors can explore many triggers in the site.
Relearn Triggertown

Waking up & coffee are common triggers.
Become An EX

Comedy Central talent helped with scripts & VO.

Watch for more buzz campaigns in the future, including custom mobile messaging and Flash video productions from popular athletes.

EX Campaign Impact

The website launched on 28 March 2008, three days ahead of the campaign schedule and under budget. Within 90 days of launch, the site received 65,000+ registered members. Ning.com noted the success of the EX Community as one of the largest social networks on Ning, a platform with millions of users and 100,000’s of individual communities.

Web analytics reveal a very positive response to the EX campaign. The sites draw thousands of inbound links and bounce rates are extremely low at 5-7%. Average time on site and depth of visit are also very positive, as high as 20 minutes in the EX Community and 25+ pages in the EX Plan. The campaign draws millions of impressions through a strategic media flight, SEM/SEO search and guerrilla social media outreach.

The campaign also realizes financial sustainability through the formation of its partnerships and it’s ability to generate web properties around the brand.

The EX Campaign: Interactive Credits
Creative Agency: GSD&M Idea City
Site Engineering: Zugara
Usability & IA Testing: Design For Use
Trigger Animations: Peake Studios
Video Subtitles: Cut n Crunch

Relearn Triggertown: Interactive Credits
Creative Agency: GSD&M Idea City
Illustrations: Ferris Plock
Vignettes: Ordinary Kids
Site Engineering & Animation: Kismet Communications

Complete credits at Coloribus

About Me

I am an executive-level interactive producer specializing in social media, online community management and buzz marketing for national accounts. I provide agency support & client service across multiple industries. I love integrated campaign strategy, working with creative teams, kicking-off projects and driving them through launch.

I am currently working at Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

Read more

Left Brain
SEO, media strategy, web analytics, web application architecture, server architecture, e-commerce platforms, data modeling
  Right Brain
SEM, creative strategy, social media, community management, WOM / buzz marketing, online memes, online brand stewardship

Contact Shannon

Shannon Swenson
Austin, Texas
512-472-3090 x1

hello [at] shannonswenson [dot] com