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truth® campaign. Mike Kendall Catherine Montoya James Montoya Carmelita Parraz John Sampson Natalie Skogerboe. Vintage Smoking Advertisements. Post War History of Anti Smoking. 1964 Surgeon General Report Focus on the link between smoking and lung cancer

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truth campaign

truth® campaign

Mike Kendall

Catherine Montoya

James Montoya

Carmelita Parraz

John Sampson

Natalie Skogerboe

post war history of anti smoking
Post War History of Anti Smoking
  • 1964 Surgeon General Report
    • Focus on the link between smoking and lung cancer
  • 1965 Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act
    • Required Surgeon General Warning label printed on cigarette packs
  • 1967 – 70 Fairness Doctrine Act
    • Required TV Networks to balance anti and pro smoking ads
  • 1984 Comprehensive Tobacco Education Act (Public Law 98-474)
    • Interagency Committee on Smoking and Health
  • 1989 National Cancer Institute
    • Use activists to impact public opinion on smoking
    • CDC booklet entitled “Tips for Kids” stated smokers were second class citizens
  • 1994 Clinton takes on “kids smoking”
florida truth campaign
Florida Truth Campaign

truth® campaign was based on the Florida Truth campaign, which reduced youth smoking rates

In 1998 Florida Department of Health launched a tobacco prevention program that featured a mass media campaign known as “truth” ( Farrelly et al, 2005).

florida truth campaign1
Florida Truth Campaign
  • A telephone survey of youths demonstrated that attitudes toward tobacco changed amongst Florida youth compared with youths in the rest of the United States after the first year.
  • Florida Youth Tobacco Survey
      • 18% and 8% among middle-school and high-school students after year one
      • After year two 40% and 18%
truth campaign1
truth® campaign
  • Launched in 2000 by the American Legacy Foundation (Legacy)
  • 1st year had a budget of more than $100 million
core strategy of the truth campaign
Core Strategy of the truth® campaign
  • Market its message as a brand, like other youth brands (e.g., Nike, Sprite)
    • Truth TV and print commercials feature what experts call “edgy” youths, promotional items, street marketing, and a Web site (

(Farrelly, 2002).

  • Deliver stark facts about tobacco and tobacco industry marketing practices
in comparison to philip morris ads
In comparison to Philip Morris ads

…“You won’t see statistics about the toll of tobacco,” Farrelly.

Emphasizing the long-term consequences of smoking is not as effective as addressing the more immediate problems, said Howard Willard, senior vice president of youth smoking at Philip Morris (Grand Rapids Press, 2002).

truth campaign2
truth® Campaign

Only national youth smoking prevention program in the U.S. not sponsored by the tobacco industry (Holden, D. & Zimmerman, M., 2009, p. 124)

Advertising spots in major metropolitan demographic market areas (DMAs)

telephone surveys
Telephone surveys

In December 1999, Legacy Media Tracking Survey (LMTS) fielded - primary evaluation tool 2000-2003

In 2000, LMTS targeted specific racial and ethnic groups, 12-17 year olds

Continuous tracking-benefited media contractors, creative directors, and other stakeholders

2nd wave of LMTS 10 months after launch of Truth found 75% exposure

media evaluations measure 4 key process and outcome dimensions
Media EvaluationsMeasure 4 key process and outcome dimensions

(Holden, D. & Zimmerman, M., 2009, p. 125)

Exposure and recall

Message reactions and receptivity

Behavioral determinants (knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs)

Behavioral outcomes

3 critical elements for successful youth tobacco prevention media
3 critical elements for successful youth tobacco prevention media

Teen focused “counter-marketing”

Talk to teens on their level, i.e. do not talk down to teens

Highlight tobacco industry’s failure to highlight addictiveness and health effects

(Columbia Marketing Panel, 1996; McKenna, Gutierrez, & McCall, 2000)

media evaluations
Media Evaluations

Outcome evaluations

Assess if the teens heard the Truth Campaign

Determine effects on health behavior

Were children less likely to smoke?

Did children react favorably

Creates Formative Feedback

Process evaluations

three main objectives
Three Main Objectives

Expose youth to truth® messages and promote positive reactions to these messages

Change attitudes and beliefs towards tobacco use

Reduce tobacco use among youth

media evaluation
Media Evaluation
  • Overall looking at marketing campaigns
    • To promote or change consumer behavior
  • Health communication
    • Affect consumer health behavior
  • Social Marketing
    • Incorporating business and social objectives
    • Influence social behavior
    • To benefit target market & society as whole
    • E.g. CDC or American Cancer Society
why need to evaluate
Why Need to Evaluate?
  • For Immediate Formative Feedback to enhance the campaign efforts
  • Process and Outcome data must happen simultaneously
  • Looking at 4 key areas:
      • Exposure & recall
      • Message reactions & receptivity
      • Behavioral determinants
      • Behavioral outcomes
challenges in evaluation
Challenges in Evaluation

Relationship between evaluators, advertisers, and marketers

Evaluation design and measurement

Environmental factors external to campaign

Difficulty to isolate and assess effects of Truth

3 primary objectives of truth
3 Primary Objectives of truth®

Expose youth to Truth & get positive reactions

Change attitudes & beliefs towards tobacco use & companies

Reduce tobacco use among youth

types of evaluations used
Types of Evaluations Used
  • For Objectives 1 & 2 (telephone):
    • LMTS (Legacy Media Tracking Survey)
  • For Objective 3 (in-school survey):
    • ELM (Elaborate Likelihood Model)
    • NYTS (National Youth Tobacco Survey)
    • MTF (Monitoring the Future)
more challenges
More Challenges
  • No control or comparison market - implemented nationally rather quickly
    • Therefore rely on quasi experimental comparison (dose of Truth)
  • Many states built own campaigns
  • Tobacco control in prices & taxes
  • Philip Morris campaign - tobacco industry
  • Evolving campaign & multiple stakeholders

Tobacco more prominent in minds of youth

“truth®” campaign resonates more with youth than “Think. Don’t Smoke.” even though that campaign aired more than 12 months prior to “truth® ”

did the truth reach its objectives

Did the truth® reach its Objectives?


OBJECTIVE 1Expose youth to truth® and get positive reactions

Exposure and Recall

Message Reactions and Receptivity

75% of 12-17yr old survey respondents recalled the ads

did the truth reach its objectives1


Did the truth® reach its Objectives?


Change Attitudes and Beliefs Toward tobacco use AND tobacco companies

Behavioral Determinants

Significant changes in knowledge, attitudes and beliefs related to truth® messages

did the truth reach its objectives2

Did the truth® reach its Objectives?



Reduce tobacco use among youth

Behavioral outcomes

How can these be attributed to the truth® campaign?

  • Evaluators were able to survey a large number of youth because of the high levels of exposure to the campaign
    • No opportunity for experimental control
  • Campaign messages and evaluation tools changed over time
    • Could impact time series
    • Requires decisions along the way as to which variables should stay and go
  • Evaluators came up with creative ways to analyze dose-response relationships
group reflections
Group Reflections

More discussion around what populations were of primary concern (i.e. geographic locations or ethnic groups with higher prevalence rates etc.)

Also, how the messages were adapted to address those populations

Cost savings resulting from the reductions in youth smoking

Truth ads should expand its target groups to include: existing smokers, age groups (18-24), and youth who reside in non-urban locations.