Mobile Marketing … Turning a Youth Message into a Youth Movement



Not Happy Not Healthy ... Fighting Big tobacco's marketing practices.

Recently, our team at truth® launched a multiple-stage campaign that gave #Finishers (a.k.a. the generation to end smoking) the information and facts about dangers of tobacco, helped them imagine a better future, and then provided them the tools to fight back against pharmacies that sell tobacco products. Let’s think about this … pharmacies provide consumers with medicines and other products to remain healthy or get better when they’re sick. So why would these retailer sell products that are known to cause harm?

Leveraging the power of mobile marketing, our team at truth® tapped into the Mobile Commons messaging platform to let Walgreens … yeah, the pharmacy that’s “at the corner of happiness and health” … know that selling tobacco products just isn’t cool. We launched a campaign to inform the shareholders of Walgreens that selling cigarettes wasn’t in the best interests of young people … let alone anyone.

We activated our #Finishers to push a strong, multi-pronged and multi-phase sequence of messages to Walgreens executives and shareholders … to let them know that their business practices just needed to change. Using the Mobile Commons text messaging platform, along with email marketing and social media, we successfully activated over 5,000 young people to sign a petition challenging Walgreens to stop selling tobacco products in their retail locations.

We also used text messaging to rally young people to share this message directly to the board of directors of Walgreens at their annual shareholder meeting on January 26, 2017. And I quote … “more than 50 people from across the country rallied outside of the Walgreens shareholders meeting in New York City on January 26 to push the pharmacy chain to stop selling tobacco products.” Read the full story.

This event, which received coverage from New York stations NY1 News and WCBS radio, follows other Truth Initiative youth activism on this topic. truth® organized a petition that collected over 5,300 youth signatures, and partnered with DoSomething.org on an effort that engaged more than 67,000 young people to encourage pharmacies to remove tobacco products from their stores. Partner organizations Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids and Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights also organized petitions to call on Walgreens to get rid of tobacco products.

I spoke with Stephen Fishbach at Mobile Commons to share our story. During our conversation we arrived at the following conclusion. Marketers should harness mobile marketing as part of their messaging strategy because it is a critical platform to engage and activate young people, while encouraging them to take action on important issues.

We were able to tell the  story of how young people just don’t want pharmacies to sell tobacco products in their stores and did so by sending sequential messages throughout the duration of the campaign. The ability to sequential message different groups of engaged activists pushed the line against Walgreens. See the original post for the extended details of our conversation and the outcomes of our mobile marketing efforts for social good.

Read the full story.

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