truth Gets Ready to Hit the Road for the Fourth Consecutive Year

By | July 15, 2003 at 12:00 AM

truth(r) is preparing to reach out to hundreds of thousands of teens this summer to continue to shed light on the marketing and manufacturing tactics of the tobacco industry.

This year’s grassroots initiative will travel across the country with the most popular summer tours ranging from the mainstream to the culturally diverse, including: Lollapalooza, Hot Import Nights, And 1 Mix Tape Tour and Vans Warped Tour(r). The initiative will start July 5th and will conclude August 16th.

More than 20 truth(r) crew members will participate in the program, traveling with trademark orange state-of-the-art truth(r) trucks rigged with DJ decks, video monitors, Sony Playstation 2 and Xbox gaming systems. All truth(r) crew members are trained to provide anti-tobacco messages in cool settings, providing an opportunity for peer-to-peer communication. Each stop will feature impromptu rap sessions, join-in free-style demos and giveaways of popular truth (R)gear, including hats, t-shirts, socks and wrist-bands designed exclusively for this year’s initiative. Scratch lessons will be available through Scratch Academy, a group of DJ’s who show newcomers the fundamentals of DJ’ing, scratching and mixing music.

“The summer grassroots initiative continues to take the truth(r) message directly to the street in an innovative and fun way, which is the heart of the truth(r) brand,” said Dr. Cheryl Healton, president and CEO of the American Legacy Foundation(r), which sponsors the truth(r) campaign. “The success of the campaign lies in the fact that we speak the same language as youth do and interact with them where it counts the most, in their own communities.”

Youth will also have the chance to star in their own anti-tobacco ad by visiting the truth(r) booth at the Vans Warped Tour(r) where they will be able to record a short self-expression video. The “spots” will be accessible online and can be e-mailed to friends and family members.

The summer program will roll out online at Users can learn about truth(r), meet truth(r) crew members and DJ’s who will be out on tour, and find out where upcoming events will be taking place. The truth(r) Web site receives approximately 400,000 visitors per month.

Arnold Worldwide, in conjunction with Crispin Porter

Bogusky, is responsible for the design and gear for the summer program. GTM…It means a lot, manages youth marketing recruiting and operations and the ad*itive, a cultural marketing communications company, oversees public relations.

Polaroid, based in Cambridge, MA, will provide photo services in the form of free cameras and film donated to truth(r).

The truth(r) campaign has recently been hailed for helping to reduce youth smoking rates. The “Monitoring the Future” study, sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, reported dramatic declines in smoking rates among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders and cited the truth(r) campaign as one of the reasons for this public health success story. In addition, the May 16, 2002 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report” also carried an article about the decline in youth smoking nationwide and cited truth(r) as a contributing factor.

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