Why I think truth is smart

Why I think truth is smart

I have never smoked cigarettes and never will, so I’ve never needed convincing to not smoke; however, if I did, truth would certainly have convinced me to quit by now. In my opinion, this anti-smoking campaign is extremely effective from an advertising and marketing standpoint.

“truth” is a national anti-tobacco campaign by the Truth Initiative (formerly known as American Legacy Foundation), working towards ending smoking among youth. They’ve been at it since 1999 and they’ve truly adapted with the changing technology and culture over the years. truth commercials have been on air throughout much of my life and I’ve been always been impressed with them all. The most memorable for me was the “Singing Cowboy (2007),” that scarred just about every kid in America at the time. This was obviously when they were still going for the shock and awe effect; it worked.

Today, the organization has evolved to trying to connect with social issues and social trends. The Truth Initiative uses all forms of media outlets and social media platforms to reach today’s teens, Gen Z. The commercial that sparked my interest again to encourage this post is their (relatively) new campaign, #StopProfiling, from ad agency, 72andSunny. I think this ad effectively connects with current social issues in the country, connects it with their cause and connects it to today’s youth. This can be a somewhat tricky sector to break into, as we saw with the Kendall Jenner/Pepsi disaster, but in my opinion, they did it. It works because: 1) it calls out huge corporations for taking advantage of the less fortunate and 2) it’s supported by facts. According to the National Cancer Institute, from 1970 to 2005, there was a major shift in advertising spending from measured media (TV, radio, magazines and billboards) to promotional activities (price discounts). This was a shift from about 18% on promotional activities to almost 100%. This doesn’t look good for “Big Tobacco” when they have been long known for keeping prices low for the lower classes. This particular campaign is causing quite a stir; this tweet gained significantly more engagement than usual, when their average tweet has about 20 retweets and 50 favorites.

A few more campaigns that I thought were effective in connecting with social issues and social trends are:

Hitting us where it really hurts (our wallets)

Our generation’s obsession with our pets, memes and GIFs

Our love of going green

Nice job, Truth Initiative. This millennial doesn’t really need to be convinced not to smoke, but I do appreciate your marketing strategy and trying to make America a little bit healthier.

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Whoops! I spoke too soon; Vine influencer marketing is no more

As you’ve probably already heard, Vine is no more. Even after I just wrote an article raving about the ingeniousness of Vine influencer marketing just last week. Now, everyone’s talking about Twitter’s recent murder of Vine. It’s even the first thing that pops up when you type “what happened” into Google.

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Four days ago, Vine posted this whammy to the public and seemed to take many people by surprise. Vanity Fair did a great job of summarizing what really happened inside Twitter and Vine that led to this ultimate decision.

Vine influencers everywhere are scrambling to relocate their following to other social platforms, so maybe it won’t affect their careers too much. Many of them have already used their Vine accounts to gain fame and are already in the public’s eye. Now, they need to work hard to stay in the limelight. I’m interested to see if their sponsorships will adapt and carry over into their platforms or fizzle out.

Maybe the next big hit app will allow for a new generation of internet famous twenty-somethings??? Maybe I’ll have to try it out and see if I can get a movie role out of it one day.

Vine influencer marketing

If you’re a regular user of Vine, you’ll recognize the “Vine Famous,” always in the Comedy section with at least 50,000 likes on each Vine. These names include King Bach, David Lopez, Logan Paul, Thomas Sanders, AlliCattt, meechonmars, Lele Pons, Brandon Calvillo, Zach King, Brittany Furlan, etc. Instead of companies using only their Vine profiles with their own original content, they occasionally use these Vine famous people to promote their product in a creative, subtle way. Big businesses have recognized that they are influencers in the Vine world and that people look up to them. Through a sponsorship, the company gets to reach a new segment of the target market, and the Vine famous user is given money to make their Vines as successful as can be. However creative they may make the Vine, it is still very obvious to the viewers that it is a paid gig and that they probably don’t LOOOVE Z-Up or Dunkin Donuts THAT much to where they would dedicate an entire video to it for free. They also add a “#ad” to each caption, so it is very clear what is happening. These sponsored ads are now very common and somewhat of a goal for Vine users. You’ll actually see some not as “famous” people put in their caption “please sponsor me” or “trying to get that sponsor.”

With that being said, I’m really okay with it. These people are “famous” for a reason. They’re funny people that make funny videos. Except now, they just make funny videos that include a specific product and get money for it. It’s never fake; for example, a boring review or they pretend like they’ve never heard of something and they’re just now trying it, but already love it. They make it clear they’re getting paid. It could be the poor college student in me that commends them for turning their hobby (Vine) into something they can benefit from. A very wide range of companies that have used this influencer marketing, such as 7-Up, 5 Gum, Xfinity, Intel, Fanta, Velveeta, Best Buy, Budweiser, Coca-Cola,  Dunkin Donuts and more.

I’m not sure if this form of advertising is effective in terms of sales numbers, but in my opinion, it is effective in terms of brand awareness. The fact that Velveeta cheese and Intel can advertise using the exact same method makes Vine an interesting, dynamic platform. It is a unique hybrid of native advertising and influencer marketing.