Campaign Focuses On Tobacco's Targeting Of Mentally Ill, Military Personnel

Anti-smoking advocacy group truth has launched a new campaign that addresses Big Tobacco’s targeting of people with mental-health issues, as well as people in the U.S. Armed Forces.

The much higher-than-average prevalence of tobacco use among these two groups is not a coincidence, truth contends. For decades, the tobacco industry has exploited these, and many other populations, including African-Americans, low-income communities and LGBTQ individuals, to sell its products, per the advocacy group. 

The new “Business or Exploitation?” creative campaign was developed by 72andSunny. Media planning and buying is being handled by Assembly.

The campaign cites statistics to help make truth’s case. For instance, 33% of adults with mental health conditions smoke compared to 21% of those without mental health conditions. And the Marines have the highest rate of smoking among all service members at 31%, followed by the Army at 27%.

The campaign kicked off during the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards on August 27 with a documentary-styled message. The ad directs viewers to sign up at where they can engage in online activities, including sending a virtual thank-you card to psychiatric facilities in the U.S. that are 100% smoke-free to show their appreciation; sharing a message of support with members of the armed services to inspire them to stay strong while quitting smoking; and using the hashtag @truthorange to help spread the word.



In addition to two 60-second spots, the campaign includes two five-minute videos devoted mental health and smoking and the military and smoking. 

Also part of the campaign: social content created by influencers, including rapper Logic, and animated illustrations across Snapchat's Discover platform. 

A partnership with Viacom will introduce campaign-related content across various programs and platforms owned by the media company. 

"We are constantly having to evolve our media planning," says Jasmin Malone, managing director, marketing, the Truth Initiative. When you align with a specific channel, the generation moves on to the next and new channel quickly, she says.

This new campaign builds off the FinishIT initiative launched in February, which was designed to raise awareness about social justice and industry tactics to target people based on where they live, their racial and ethnic identities, and income level.

Next story loading loading..