DON’T HAVE TO AND
DON’T WANT TO – SMOKE
Seductive and addictive, tobacco presents a powerful challenge. For teenagers, it represents a torch of freedom, a quick route to adulthood and sophistication. The truth is: tobacco enslaves you to spend money on a product that deteriorates your health. Even with truth on our side, esd confronted a tough sell when we took on UT Health Science Center San Antonio’s assignment to promote awareness among the teen population on the consequences of smoking.
don’t tell teenagers what to do
We did not try to guess what approach to take. esd gathered a series of focus groups comprised of adolescents from the actual target population. They taught us to make tobacco use look unattractive, to speak in the first person and find a device to cement conviction.
We created an edgy, contemporary identity and juxtaposed it with grisly art. We created a “commitment card” for students to sign – not as a promise to the school or their parents, but as a promise to themselves.
To promote the program, we:
- Created a series of strong call- to-action billboards
- Hosted 15 school seminars
- Promoted the initiative at large concerts
- Executed 30 and 60 second TV ads
- Utilized radio DJ promotion
- Created retail partnerships for incentives
- Leveraged more than $250,000 in free media placements with news coverage on all local channels and throughout Texas
We hit our goal in the first year, and earned extended funding allocations. Over the course of the three-year term the campaign was able to garner over 22,900 teen pledges. esd was recognized for bold creative work, which was adopted by the State Health Department for state-wide PSA distribution.