American Legacy Foundation: the new "Truth"

Disciplines: Animation, Design for sustainability, Fashion marketing and management, Illustration, Industrial design, Interactive design and game development, Photography, Sequential art

Collaborrative Learning CenterMarked by exemplary bold and edgy advertisements aimed at educating teens about tobacco products, the "truth" campaign is the masterful creation of the American Legacy Foundation. Founded in 1999, the not-for-profit organization is the first national public health foundation dedicated exclusively to tobacco control. Its "truth" campaign, in particular, is the nation's largest smoking-prevention campaign for youth and young adults.

Collaborrative Learning CenterThis collaboration focused on creation of an innovative product and strategy to engage 12- to 17-year-olds with the truth brand. To approach this challenge, students adopted user-centered and contextual design and research methodologies, interviewing teenagers in order to find real solutions. By the midterm engagement, the students developed more than 75 ideas, ranging from products and events to applications and games. From the 33 ideas presented, the American Legacy Foundation selected two multicomponent ideas further refinement and production.

In the final presentation, students presented both fully developed concepts via two engaging videos. The first, an online marketplace and community sponsored by the "truth" brand, reflected the lively and self-expressive lifestyles of the target audience. By offering a "fun, fresh and hip" platform, teenagers are more likely to engage and align with the core values of the brand. The second, a gamification and loyalty program, proposed a "truth" debit card and reward system for teenagers who highly interacted with the site. By becoming more active with the brand, teens are less likely to smoke and more likely to engage with the brand long term.

Legacy chose several ideas from the final presentation to produce and test in upcoming "truth" events.  Additionally, one student was hired for an internship.

"We were blown away with the depth of information that the team produced, the quality of the ideas. I think the hardest part for us was deciding what not to do because we would love to use all and do all of the ideas, so it really has been a rewording process, and we hope to replicate it and do it again."
— Eric Asche, American Legacy Foundation, chief marketing officer.