In the latest Wyoming youth survey, we learned 16% were smoking cigarettes and an astonishing 29% were vaping. While vaping is often misrepresented as a cessation tool, it has the opposite effect on teens—making them three times more likely to smoke cigarettes. So, we developed a new campaign to target these youth and start a conversation around just how harmful all tobacco products are for them.
A positive approach
Rather than be another voice telling them what not to do, we created positive messaging to encourage kids to “stay fresh” and rise above the distractions they face every day. We mimicked the media they consume—making jokes, evoking attitude, and incorporating pop culture elements. Because if what we say isn’t relevant to them, they rightly tune it out.
To make sure kids got the message, we ran the campaign almost entirely on social and digital channels—tackling general misconceptions about vaping head on in an entertaining way. Teens have a hard time listening to their parents, let alone a state department telling them what to do, so we let them do a lot of the talking. We toured the state—using local teens as the stars of our content, and incorporated facts to educate Wyoming youth about tobacco’s dangers.
For all of us, this campaign was purposeful. For some of us, it was personal. Helping a new generation avoid the pitfalls of tobacco products is something undeniably worthwhile, so we poured time, strategy, and passion into a campaign focused on educating and empowering Wyoming’s next generation.Kaitlyn, Planning Director