I Can Quit Campaign

Cancer Institute NSW

Smoking prevalence in NSW had seen reductions 2007-2009 but the trend for those from lower SES backgrounds was less encouraging. Given the heavier media consumption of lower SES smokers (especially TV), they were receiving disproportionately greater advertising pressure, but their quitting intentions rates were lower.

The Challenge

Identify opportunities to reach and engage hard to shift lower SES smokers and motivate a quitting attempt. We were keen to test a different twofold approach which would supplement current campaigns. This approach would aim to:

1. Identify a media partner with the scale and efficiency in reaching lower SES smokers.
2. Engage and motivate them to support sustained and integrated anti-tobacco messaging for their audience.

Our Observations

In 2009, The Roy Morgan Single Source database measured NSW smoking prevalence at 17.7%. The smoking prevalence of that’s life! magazine’s readers was 34%, the highest concentration of smokers in any media at that time.

A partnership with that’s life! would enable us to achieve efficiency and scale, as it had the potential to reach nearly 40% of all smokers in NSW from lower SES backgrounds.

Our Strategy

Customedia purposely avoided the typical sales channel for the initial approach. We requested a meeting with the editor Linda Smith. Linda was astounded that the smoking prevalence of her readership was so high and as a result of the meeting, was keen to assist.

This was the precursor to the development of a partnership between the Cancer Institute NSW and that’s life! which spanned three campaigns throughout the 2009 – 2013 period.

The associated ‘I Can Quit’ campaign is a positive, non-judgemental approach encouraging the community of that’s life! readers to share their experiences, support other readers and importantly prompt another quitting attempt. All have been Editor led without any traditional ‘full page’ advertising materials.

Each campaign has used different approaches to motivate the readers via different channels and messaging including:

Bespoke pieces on Quit Clubs, New Year Countdown & 24 Hour Life Swap supported with Quit Packs prizes.

Profiles of heartbreaking or inspirational stories from readers impacted by smoking.

Popular with the readership, smokers were encouraged to pledge a quitting attempt or tell their own smoker story for the chance to win regular Red Balloon gift vouchers valued at $1,000.

Social Media:
Including regular Facebook posts that prompted debate and comments on issues such as quitting techniques and smoking while pregnant. Twitter was used to extend the social media reach.

Digital Media:
These directed smokers to the iCanQuit.com.au resource.

The Quit Pack was a hugely successful giveaway introduced in 2012 packed full of goodies to help smokers prepare for their quitting attempt and deal with cravings.

The Results

Each campaign significantly over delivered with ROI four times the actual cost. This level of success has been consistent across the three campaigns, and is a key reason (along with the results below) that it was repeated.

The evaluation of the 2009, 2011/12 and 2013 activity extends far deeper than typical reach and frequency metrics. The scale of that’s life! and efficiency in reaching smokers, allowed confidence that enough NSW smokers were being reached to impact population smoking trends.

The Roy Morgan single source data measures both that’s life! readership and smoking prevalence. At a NSW level, the data shows that there has only been a 12% reduction in smoking from 956,000 in July 2009 to 836,000 smokers in March 2012. For the That’s Life readership, smoking prevalence has decreased by 24% during that same period.

The that’s life! partnership has been successful in identifying potential testimonials, and has been a platform for larger media partnerships. It shows how the media can help to influence behaviour change in conjunction with regular campaign activity.