Blog Post

CDPHE Tobacco Is Nasty Youth Campaign

January 18, 2017

“CDPHE Tobacco Is Nasty”
Youth Campaign

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment – Tobacco Is Nasty

Despite recent gains in decreasing youth tobacco use in Colorado, an alarming number of youth still use tobacco products. Continued prevention efforts are critical to ensuring Colorado kids do not become adult tobacco users, yet youth are notoriously challenging to reach and engage, and many feel like they have heard the same messages about not using tobacco before (yet many use tobacco anyway).

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment engaged SE2 to develop a mass media campaign to reach these kids.

Our approach piqued kids’ interests by using new and novel information about tobacco that they might not have heard before, which we learned through extensive primary research with youth in interviews and focus group conversations. The creative focused on the Totally Nasty ingredients they haven’t heard of before – the same stuff that is in cat pee, lighter fluid, dog poop – and showed those ingredients in graphic detail. Additionally, tying into youth’s obsession with online quizzes, we developed a custom quiz that encouraged kids to find out just how nasty they are.

Both the advertising and quizzes infused anti-tobacco and prevention messaging so that kids walked away with a better understanding of the dangers of tobacco.

Finally, with our project partner InLine Media, we used novel approaches to paid media like in-game advertising that tied our anti-tobacco messages to the game content to great effect.

The combination of compelling creative and novel paid media drove the campaign to double industry benchmarks in terms of click-through and view rates.

Optimizations we made to the website, such as content and navigation improvements, increased the amount of time kids spent learning about the dangers of tobacco.

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