QUITPLAN Provides Smokers With Empathy

By: Bridget Anderson

Link to commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTfCWh45w5A

How can we help smokers quit their unhealthy habits? Since 2001, QUITPLAN Services, a Minnesotan non-profit organization, has had the purpose to “improve the health of all Minnesotans by reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke through research, action and collaboration.” They provide coaching, free nicotine replacement therapy and supportive messages.

Ever since the start of the organization, QUITPLAN’s target audience had been those who are called “quit seekers” or people who were very serious and intent on quitting smoking. However, in 2014 QUITPLAN decided to reinvent itself to include those who decided to quit spontaneously to increase the total number of quitting smokers. What was their challenge? To target all adult tobacco users in Minnesota.

After spending two years of researching, they found that smokers know they should quit, but they want to quit on their own terms, without the guilt and intimidation that they received previously from the media, doctors and loved ones. QUITPLAN came up with a campaign titled, “No judgments. Just help.”

The big idea of this campaign was to encourage smokers to quit by providing them with empathy and solutions that they will be happy with. QUITPLAN used a variety of paid media outlets such as television, out-of-home, radio and newspaper advertisements to get their message across. In these ads, animated characters are telling the viewer that they are “pressured to quit, but sometimes that pressure is enough to make them want to light up.” Using animated characters in these advertisements was crucial because they wanted their audience to be able to put themselves in the character’s shoes, something that is known to be easier to do with animation rather than live actors. QUITPLAN is providing a service and utility to all current Minnesotan tobacco users who want to quit smoking by their own means.

As a result of these paid media sources, QUITPLAN met or exceeded all of their goals with 5,352 phone calls, 101,922 web page views, 5,100 starter kits sent and 6,395 people enrolling in the program in the first four months (surpassing the total of the whole previous year).

Print ad example

Photo credits from: http://0-www.warc.com.library.unl.edu/Content/ContentViewer.aspx?MasterContentRef=c3d1dfdd-c79d-4537-8a37-c5f60e07d6f1&CID=A104923&PUB=EFFIES

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