Increasingly smoking is seen as socially unacceptable. Banned from clubs, restaurants and workplaces, nowadays smokers are relegated to alleyways, street corners and designated smoking areas. For many, smoking has become social leprosy; those afflicted are ostracised and banished.
While we may we collectively applaud this positive societal shift, not all Kiwi communities are giving up the ciggies.
Even after decades of messaging, Maori and Pacific people still over index compared to the NZ population; men are one and a half times more likely to smoke, and women two times. There are many reasons why this is so, but the most compelling reason is that quitting smoking can be incredibly hard to do. And that is made even harder when you go it alone while so many of your family and friends are still lighting up.
This is the reality for Maori and Pacific people. But it generated an idea. Instead of asking a person to do the impossible - sign up individually - what if family, friends, and social networks were engaged and encouraged them to quit together? What if the sense of community that kept so many Maori and Pacific people locked into a cycle of smoking was taken and used as the reason why they should all quit together? What if their sense of community could support a smoker while they tried to quit?
For the sake of authenticity and in addition to campaign comms, social influencers who had a relevance to our target audience were engaged. Through them, the campaign was extended, simultaneously tracking the specific levels of engagement for each influencer. Once identified, media spend was deployed behind the best performing content, and asked the influencers who made it to create more.
This resulted in one of the most compelling and cost effective campaigns Stoptober has run.