38726 Thoughtful Social Media Content about Chewing Tobacco Aligned with Country Culture

Chris Norris, MA, Rescue, Rescue | The Behavior Change Agency, San Diego, CA and Carli Smith, MA, Rescue | The Behavior Change Agency, Washington, DC

Background: Country teens have particularly high rates of smokeless tobacco use and have proven resistant to traditional anti-smoking campaigns. “Down and Dirty” is a lifestyle branded anti-smoking campaign that targets youth ages 13-20 that identify with the “Country” subculture. The campaign’s goal is to make living tobacco-free more appealing by aligning the subculture’s values with a tobacco-free lifestyle.

Program background: Down and Dirty reaches teens who are interested in trucks, mudding, and other Country activities. This session will discuss impact and takeaways from recent campaign messaging which used a culturally relevant metaphor of country teens saving money from choosing to live dip-free and showed them culturally relevant items they buy with those savings.

A digital activation strategy was developed in the form of a digital game for youth to play. The game centers around the action of collecting dip cans in a garbage can graphic to actually “Cash Out” on Dip. The more dip cans the teens digitally through in the garbage, the higher the value of the Country prize pack they became eligible for. This campaign implemented a flagship video in which a faux Down And Dirty store was created to show what youth could buy from living tobacco-free. In addition to the digital experience and video, youth participated in a real life version of the digital experience at Down And Dirty events by use of a money booth.

Evaluation Methods and Results:

The Country peer crowd responds to direct and straightforward messaging and social media content. Anything "slick" did not resonate with the Country peer crowd. The flagship video received twice as many “quitting” declarations compared to past videos thanks to straight-forward messaging

Cash Out on Dip evaluation shows that teens will engage with a digital experience if the prizes are culturally relevant and the game is interesting. Data show that the most effective messages for Country teens are anti-tobacco messages delivered by a teen directly to the camera.

Multiple forms of paid ads were run on Facebook and Maxpoint to achieve our goals of earning video views, game completions, social engagements, as well as increasing reach and brand awareness.  Paid ads were vital to the success of the flagship video, gathering 93% of total video views. 43% of users who clicked to visit the site through a paid ad also completed the quiz, which is much higher than the industry average of 3-5%.


Through the campaign there has been a 20.5% reduction in past 30-day cigarette smoking and 32.6% reduction in past 30-day chew tobacco use. Both reductions were concentrated amongst those with the strongest Country affiliation.

Implications for research and/or practice:  Public health practitioners can use incentive based engagement posts to engage youth in positive conversations about tobacco use. Leveraging paid social media to open a dialogue and using quizzes as a low barrier to entry can increase youth engagement with the tobacco messaging. Campaigns targeting the Country peer crowd should use straightforward, values-driven content.