Launched in the Summer of 2000; truth® is still the largest national youth smoking prevention campaign and the only national campaign not directed by the tobacco industry. With truth, we helped to expose the tactics of the tobacco industry, provided truths about addiction, the tragic health effects and social consequences of smoking—forcing teens to make informed choices about tobacco use.
At each stop, a team of truth “tour riders”— young people in their early 20’s, engaged with teens on a peer-to-peer level; often with the truth truck serving as the backdrop.
By far, these marketing tactics created the greatest impact and dimensionalized the brand in a way that could not be done by traditional television or print advertising. The connection made by these tour riders also enabled truth’s social media to have recognizable personalities driving the digital conversations.
A study published in the May 2009 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM), found that truth was responsible for keeping approximately 450,000 teens from starting to smoke during its first four years – 2000 to 2004. A second paper in that same publication found that the campaign not only paid for itself in its first three years, but also saved at least $1.9 billion and as much as $5.4 billion in medical care costs to our nation.
Some of the work we performed for the campaign: