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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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