Legacy Ups Awareness In Stop-Smoking Effort

EX campaign

National anti-smoking NPO Legacy (formerly The Legacy Foundation) has been focusing heavily on keeping kids from tobacco with its "Truth" campaign in recent months, with ads, a road show, grassroots efforts, and the like. Now, the group is aiming at adult smokers with new elements for its "EX" campaign, which launched last year to get people to quit smoking. The effort, timed with Lung Cancer Awareness Month, includes two new television spots and promotions designed to help smokers "re-learn" life without cigarettes.

The effort, also involving the National Alliance for Tobacco Cessation -- a two-year-old collaboration among state and local health organizations -- includes radio and cable television ads, Web, print and out-of-home channels. Media drives traffic to

In one of the TV spots, a man leaves his store for a smoke break. Cigarette in hand, he tries the doors of a few cars before jumping into an idling delivery van and driving off. The voiceover relates: "You don't drive every time you smoke; yet, you smoke every time you drive." The tag exhorts the viewer to "relearn life without cigarettes" by going to the Web site.



A second spot, meant to spotlight how drinking and smoking are often co-dependent, has a woman at her desk in an office. Co-workers look on as she crushes ice, chops strawberries and then blends a daiquiri. As she heads outside with the drink, a voiceover says: "You don't drink every time you smoke; yet, you smoke every time you drink." The effort also includes two spots that will only be used as PSAs through collaboration with the The Advertising Council.

Jeff Constantino, senior director of cessation marketing for Legacy, says the new ads further last year's effort that showed how ex-smokers struggle to do things like having a cup of coffee or driving without a cigarette. He says this year's focus is on getting smokers to realize that there is no natural law saying they must smoke while they drink or drive.

"One thing we found is that with smokers there are some universal triggers that are really common, so we wanted to present those ideas in way that fit in with last year's campaign," says Constantino. The ads are by Austin, Texas-based GSD&M Idea City, the "EX" campaign's agency of record since 2003. Boston-based Arnold Worldwide handles the Truth campaign.

The organization says that since the "EX" program launched in March last year, over a million people have visited the site and more than 14,000 smokers have joined the online community, comprising some 300 support groups. The group also says that although 70% of U.S. smokers want to quit smoking, only about 5% do long-term.

The new ads are running through January with a heavy emphasis on sports as, per the group, sports fans have a higher-than-average propensity to smoke. The ads will run on Major League Baseball on Fox, "Bassmasters" on ESPN2 and on radio through ABC and Sporting News Radio.

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