FCB Shows Teens the Real Cost of Smoking

Every day in the U.S. nearly 3,300 youth under age 18 smoke their first cigarette and more than 700 others become daily cigarette smokers (SAMHSA 2013). This seemingly innocent experimentation comes at a great cost. Nearly 90% of adult smokers, many of whom suffer from smoking-related diseases, started smoking before they were 18 years old. The teen tobacco problem is the tobacco problem.

FCB New York developed content for FDA Center of Tobacco Products and its campaign, “The Real Cost” that presented a smoking prevention message in an entirely new way. Instead of just creating Tumblr content and hoping it would be found, FCB used tags that research showed put cigarettes in the most positive light. The tags married content to the streams leveraging the native behaviors used by its target. The resulting content had a fresh look, was unexpected and best of all, got the message across.

After the launch of the campaign, the monthly engagement for The Real Cost skyrocketed, 20 times greater than prior to launch. The average monthly page views rose by nearly 100,000 views and the number of engagements with content nearly doubled with monthly average engagements rising from 47.7K before May to 90.25K after. FCB New York recently won a 2016 Shorty Award in the Best Overall Tumblr Presence category for its work on "The Real Cost.”

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