Name of Intervention/ Program
Tobacco Industry Manipulation “Shapeshifter” Campaign

Background and Situation Analysis
Tobacco Stops With Me (TSWM) is a public health intervention that provides efficient, emotional and highly recognizable tobacco prevention messages for Oklahomans to rally around. Among several other messaging priorities, one pillar of TSWM’s messaging strategy focuses on educating Oklahomans on the deceptive and manipulative practices of big tobacco companies, both past and present, to engage action and advocacy towards a tobacco free future. In Oklahoma alone, tobacco companies spend an estimated $150 million each year marketing their deadly products while using a variety of half-truths and tricks to mislead Oklahoma consumers. These dishonest, manipulative actions result in over half a million new smokers and thousands of Oklahoma deaths yearly. Big Tobacco will do whatever it takes to addict more customers and make a profit, and no one is off limits. Previous TSWM messaging efforts prompted audience feedback indicating Oklahomans are often unaware of current manipulative tobacco industry tactics, and Oklahomans are also undereducated on past tobacco industry lies. Additionally, according to TSWM’s Oklahoma-based survey data, only 47% of Oklahomans reported TSWM advertising made them angry at the tobacco industry. TSWM set out to address these issues through education on tobacco industry practices. To do so, a TSWM media campaign, titled “Shapeshifter,” was created and launched in February of 2023 which informed Oklahomans about the harsh realities of Big Tobacco manipulation and sought to create advocates against the tobacco industry. The campaign was spearheaded by a single three-minute video, which drove all other campaign messages and assets.

Priority Audiences(s)
Messages were intended for Oklahomans who are civically engaged and/or lack knowledge about the tobacco industry’s history and continued practice of manipulation. For a more in-depth look at audience targeting intentions, see Behavioral Objectives section. Campaign messages were delivered to target audiences corresponding to tobacco industry manipulation practices. For example, education about the sleek designs and enticing flavors of tobacco products, which aim to addict youth, had the most significant impact on parents with teenagers in their families; education about menthols and harsh marketing targeting Black Americans were most impactful to Oklahomans in Black communities, and so on for seven main topics of manipulation.

Behavioral Objectives
The goal of the “Shapeshifter” campaign is to bring education and awareness to Oklahomans about disturbing tobacco industry tactics. Through education, the campaign targets Oklahomans who lack education about tobacco industry activities, Oklahomans who are likely to spread campaign messages through their own channels and Oklahomans who are likely to take action against the tobacco industry or learn more as a result of their exposure to “Shapeshifter” campaign messages. Educational messages intend to serve TSWM’s brand objective: Increase the percentage of Oklahomans who report TSWM advertising makes them angry at the tobacco industry from 47% to 49%. This objective is measured each year via a statewide survey conducted by the University of Oklahoma’s Health Sciences Center at the Hudson College of Public Health. Additionally, key performance indicators (KPI) were set to measure individual campaign message’s effectiveness in its respective digital or social platform. To see KPIs and their results, see the Evaluation Methods and Results section.

Description of Strategy/Intervention
“Shapeshifter” gives a unique and jarring perspective on the many lies and tricks the tobacco industry uses to hook Oklahomans into a lifetime of addiction. Personified as a shapeshifting character, industry lies are played out in real-life scenarios. In the campaign’s messages, Big Tobacco takes the form of everyday Oklahomans and spins the same lies, strategies and words the industry uses to addict customers: teens, Black Americans, low-income communities, women, social smokers and other potential tobacco users. These disturbing activities take place even in unremarkable circumstances, drawing viewers to the realization that Big Tobacco’s deadly work can infiltrate and addict in inconspicuous ways. The “Shapeshifter” messaging strategy was designed to engage audience members through all stages of the marketing funnel. Oklahomans were attracted to “Shapeshifter” messages with upper funnel tactics such as traditional media and digital video tactics where they were made aware of the issues caused by tobacco industry manipulation. Next, the target audience was educated and engaged through tactics such as print and social video, where factual information educated Oklahomans on how and where industry targeting took place. Finally, users were pushed toward conversion and advocacy for brand priorities through website click ads, landing pages and strong calls to action throughout campaign messages, drawing users to take action and join the fight against Big Tobacco. Through this disturbing education, audiences and viewers are encouraged to learn more and take action against the industry. Campaign resources extensively educate audiences on specific areas, targets and tactics of tobacco industry manipulation. Audiences are encouraged to guard themselves and loved ones from industry targeting and invited to take a variety of actions to help Oklahoma become tobacco-free. Actions include advocacy through social media, contacting decision makers about tobacco policies, signing up to receive more information and other actions related to continued learning.

“Shapeshifter” launched in Oklahoma on TV, cable, radio, digital and social, billboards, cinema and more alongside additional PR and partnership efforts. The campaign’s three-week traditional media launch was joined by a monthlong digital/social launch, which included more than ten digital and social tactics. These efforts resulted in 7.3 million views on “Shapeshifter” digital videos, while social video advertisements had 1.5 million views at a 42% view rate. Traditional media grabbed 16,548,000 TV impressions, 8,985,000 radio impressions and 3,398,000 cable impressions. This campaign’s advertisements were reinforced by interactive and informative landing pages on Tobacco Stop’s With Me’s website. Each of the 7 landing pages focused on different areas of industry manipulations, showcasing Big Tobacco lies and educating audiences on the industry’s tricks and schemes. During the campaign’s launch, these pages experienced 56,507 page views at an average of 1 minute and 16 seconds per session.

Evaluation Methods and Results
In the 100 days following the campaign’s launch, campaign assets experienced the following results: – 1,655 organic views on the longform video available on the campaign landing page, exceeding the objective by 655 views, 65% over our KPI. – 10.52% average engagement rate on promoted posts, exceeding the objective by over 2.50 percentage points, 31.5% higher than our KPI. – 12,086 page visits per campaign landing page, exceeding the objective by over 2,000 sessions per page, 20.86% over our KPI. – 53.93% average view rate for TrueView video ads, exceeding the objective by nearly 4.00 percentage points, 7.86% over our KPI. – $0.02 average cost per view for TrueView video ads, exceeding the objective with an 90.00% cost decrease. – 1.07% click through rate on website click ads, exceeding the objective by 0.37%. – 1:21 average session duration on the TSWM website, exceeding the objective by 21 seconds, 35% over our KPI. In addition to these measurable objectives, TSWM feels that the “Shapeshifter” campaign successfully educated Oklahomans about tobacco industry schemes, providing audiences with factual, interesting and useful information coupled with strong calls to action leading to continued education and advocacy. These accomplishments and the entire “Shapeshifter” campaign also serve the TSWM brand objective to increase the percentage of Oklahomans who report TSWM advertising made them angry at the tobacco industry. This percentage will soon be measured in TSWM’s yearly survey, conducted by the University of Oklahoma’s Health Sciences Center at the Hudson College of Public Health. Survey results will be available summer of 2024. Other TSWM brand objectives, as well as the objectives stated above, were designed to engage Oklahomans in significant life-saving issues. Through efforts like this, Oklahomans are encouraged take a stand against important topics, correcting the wrongdoings of a deceitful industry and creating a healthier tomorrow for our state and future generations.

Entry Letter: Y

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