Legacy Campaign Includes Social Media


The American Legacy Foundation's 10-year-old Truth campaign recently launched a new ad campaign that ponders what different products would look like if they were as dangerous as tobacco. The organization is launching phase two of the effort with an interactive and social-media program on teen site WeeWorld.com. 

The effort, "Shards O' Glass," follows the TV campaign, which features a factory that makes shards of glass and puts them in products like popsicles.

The campaign includes a virtual "Quest" game on the site that dangles virtual rewards. The game rewards players in green and gold points for answering questions correctly that implicitly refer to tobacco. The points allow members to upgrade their avatars -- called WeeMees -- and social-media elements. The company says people around the world have created some 36 million avatars.

"It allows us to have prolonged conversation with target audience giving them the facts, but not in a preachy way," says Nicole Dorrler, senior director, marketing, youth prevention, and legacy for health. The campaign targets kids ages 12 to 17.

Adds Pauline Malcolm-John, VP sales at Concord, Mass.-based WeeWorld: "We are providing them both a deep engagement with teens, but also scale; we have about 2 million unique visits per month. On top of the different Quest customer elements, one of the biggest added values is everything is measureable."

The Quest game takes visitors on a journey to uncover hidden truths. A player might have to help a farmer fill his tractor with gas, but first answer a question about what other product has some of the same volatile organic compounds as fuel (answer: cigarette tobacco). A second phase in September involves the "Shards O' Glass" factory.

"Nowadays when a number of products are being recalled, it's a timely message that there are a lot of companies being overseen and monitored, yet tobacco companies make a product that kills one in three people who use it," Dorrler says.

The foundation will launch two new shards TV spots in early August and September in which the factory offers new products that use shards of glass.

And WeeWorld is also creating a stand-alone widget-type game for Truth called "Truth or False" that will launch in the fall on the WeeWorld site, and also in shareable form on sites like Truth.com and Facebook.

Dorrler says the program reflects a change in media strategy for the Truth campaign toward lifestyle channels like music, gaming and fashion. "Creating fun, engaging entertainment-based games that provide some sort of points system allows for a much more prolonged conversation," she says.

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