truth launches new campaign for new generation

truth launches new campaign for new generation

The following is a blog from Legacy released August 11th, 2014
Source: “Generation Free Starts with the Truth ®” – Legacy Blog

Today, millions of American teens will witness the start of a new era for the nation’s most successful youth smoking prevention campaign–truth®. Our new campaign –Finish It– will inspire, provoke and challenge a generation to make lasting change around the issue of tobacco use. truth consistently evolves and innovates to ensure we reach young people effectively – through the media that entertains them and the channels by which they connect with friends. truth aims to reach more than just the newest, youngest smokers — we will also reach out to young adults up to the age of 21 because research shows this age group has a rising rate of tobacco use initiation.

A new television and online video, Finishers, debuts this week to serve as our anthem for what’s to come. Robin Koval, CEO and President of Legacy, tells us how this campaign, with a fresh   perspective and urgent, call-to-action, will kick start a new revolution to save lives from tobacco addiction, disease and premature death.

1.   What does the first truth advertisement hope to convey? What should people expect as the campaign progresses?

truth will inspire young people to be part of a grassroots movement  with the  goal of being the generation that ends smoking. We’ll rally and activate the 91% of teens that don’t smoke, giving them the tools to make this fight their own.We like to call it a ‘modern revolution.’ With the youth smoking rate at its lowest in 22 years, we will provocatively engage young people to be the generation that finally finishes tobacco once and for all.

We’ll extend this momentum through the remainder of this year and into the next by continuing to surprise and motivate participation across digital, social, TV and experiential channels that reach young people.

2.   What do we want young people to do with this campaign?

Our goal is to further de-normalize smoking and create a generation free of tobacco use, where young people embrace life without it and share that message among their friends. Youth today have the power to make cigarettes and all other forms of tobacco a relic from the past, like a VHS tape or rotary phone.

3.   How can young people be agents of social change when it comes to tobacco?

The key to ending the tobacco epidemic begins with young people. With more than 2,100 new young smokers a day, this really is their revolution to start and finish. Whether they realize it or not, this generation has done so much to de-normalize smoking. We want to remind them of their influence, especially across the media channels they consume (TV, online, social media) and give them tools they can use to make a difference in this effort.

4.   How is social media integrated into this campaign?

We’ve made it easy by reaching young people where they already naturally gather online. For teens, social media is a way to define individual values and speak out for what they believe in. It is also a way to organically build a community of support for these values. We know this generation likes to communicate and share every aspect of their lives.  Because they are constantly connected, we’re offering apps and online tools for “Finishers” to share on their own social platforms. “Finishers” will be able to enlist online and “X” their social media profile pictures to show that they have joined the revolution. Our followers can join truth on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube to learn more as the campaign unfolds.  From there, we want them to encourage friends to join up as well. If anyone can do this– with their power, creativity and numbers – this generation can.

For more information and resources, visit

Erica Olmstead's journey with youth advocacy and tobacco control began as a youth advocate in New York with the Reality Check program. Over the past 12 years, she has continuously focused her efforts on empowering youth to advocate against corporate tobacco, first as a youth advocate, later as a Reality Check Program Coordinator and now as a member of the Youth Advocacy team at the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids in Washington, DC.


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