By Barry Janoff
August 21, 2015: When it comes to smoking, the American Legacy Foundation: Legacy for Health will have none of it, and neither will action sports lifestyle and youth culture brand Vans.
Together, they are seeking to reach the goal being promoted by Legacy's iconic "truth" campaign: Ending tobacco use among teens and "inspire tobacco-free lives" for everyone.
Legacy for Health and Vans, which have worked together on initiatives including the Vans Warped Tour, have now joined forces for a truth x Vans campaign, featuring a limited-edition apparel collection inspired by "100 ridiculously-awesome replacements for cigarettes."
The multi-media effort is anchored by a TV spot, “Weapons of Mass Ridiculousness," which focuses on "the many things this generation can do instead of smoking cigarettes."
Among the activities found in the 30-second spot: skateboarding, strolling on the boardwalk, windsurfing, horseback riding, creating artwork, eating sushi, crowd surfing, playing soccer, playing with your puppy, mountain climbing, lake diving, sightseeing and going to a concert. (See the full spot here.)
Support includes Internet, social media and activation on-site at Vans' roster of events, including the Vans Warped Tour, Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, the Vans Downtown Showdown, the Vans Pool Party and the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing.
The apparel — including T-shirts, hats and shoes — is available in the top 100 Vans retailers and online at vans.com/truth.
A related umbrella "Finish IT" campaign, which began in 2014 but the most recent version of which launched earlier this summer, comes with the message, "With teen cigarette use at 8%, ending tobacco use is achievable. truth’s 'Finish It' campaign was created to empower today’s generation of youth to be the one to #FinishIt for good."
The truth "Tour Rider" kicked off in June with plans to make some 100 stops through September at theme parks, sports events and music festivals, including the Vans Warped Tour and the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival.
“It's a way for us to reach a broad audience and help them carry forward life-saving messages about health and the effects of tobacco use," Eric Asche, CMO for the truth campaign, said in a statement.
As part of its effort, the American Legacy Foundation aligned with Brett Stiles, an Austin-based graphic designer and lifelong skateboarder, to create custom graphics based on truth fact No. 240: Big Tobacco’s products kill 113 people from second-hand smoke every day.
“I grew up wearing Vans, and being obsessed with skateboarding and skate culture," Stiles offers on a dedicated Vans x truth Web site. "I’m still an avid skater, and more relevant to this project, I am 100% on-board with truth’s mission."
According to Stiles, "This project has been a dream come true — I’ve gotten to combine my love for graphic design and skateboarding with a cause I feel so passionate about. Stoked is an understatement."
In September, the American Legacy Foundation, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1998 and based in Washington D.C., will change its name to Truth Initiative to help drive public awareness.
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