BY THE BEACH, THE SIDEWALK, AND THE CONCERT STAGE: truth® YOUTH SMOKING PREVENTION CAMPAIGN KICKS OFF 2013 ANNUAL SUMMER TOUR
Popular summer tour to travel to more than 30 states, offer new tour experiences
Washington, D.C.; June 14, 2013 – /PRNewswire/ – Video gamers, roller coaster riders, surfers and music lovers across the country will be able to experience the fun and educational messages of the nation’s largest youth smoking prevention campaign. truth® begins its 14th annual nationwide summer tour on Saturday, June 15 in Seattle with its first stop on the Vans Warped Tour. truth’s crew of young adult “tour riders” will interact with teens across the country – educating them about the marketing tactics of the tobacco industry and the health effects, addictiveness and social consequences of tobacco use.
As part of a larger tour, truth will visit more than 60 cities and 30 states this summer and fall. The tour will also make some new stops, visiting Oklahoma City, OK, and Huntington Beach, CA. New events will include the US Open of Surfing (Huntington Beach, CA); GM River Days Festival (Detroit, MI); the Major League Gaming Spring Championship (Anaheim, CA); and Vans House Parties (Brooklyn, NY).
Two crews of tour riders will travel from June through September – with one tour focused on music-related events, and the other on art, sporting, and gaming-related experiences – all common teenage passions. Iconic orange “truth trucks” will appear at most tour stops. Trucks are rigged with a DJ booth and sound system, iPads with truth’s latest mobile game (Graffiti Collective), a dance floor, and more. At select tour stops, live art at the truth zone will include artists producing creations inspired by different tobacco-related facts; zone visitors will be challenged to learn truth facts and share them through social media and artwork produced in the truth zone. Additional activities from games to DJ lessons to gear giveaways serve as shared experiences where tour riders can impart information about tobacco products, and give teens the knowledge needed to make informed choices about smoking.
In the United States, more than 88% of adult smokers start smoking by age 18. Each year, more than 400,000 Americans die from tobacco-related diseases. The truth campaign aims to keep young people from ever trying to smoke in the first place. Touring is a key part of the campaign’s strategy to speak directly to teens and young people who are most vulnerable to trying tobacco products.
“Last year, the truth tour reached more than one million teens and young people, using inspiring and engaging experiences as a way to share vital health information,” said Cheryl G. Healton, DrPH, president and CEO of Legacy®, the national public health foundation that directs and funds the truth campaign. “Our campaign reaches teens and young people on TV, online, and through unique partnerships. But we know from research and from feedback we get every year on tour, that the one-on-one, personal experiences and interactions teens have in our zone and with our dynamic crew of tour riders leave lasting, important impressions.”
Music, gaming and sports are common passions for teens and young people. Tour stops this year will include popular events relating to these typical youth interests. This year’s crew of tour riders will appear at:
- Vans Warped Tour – An annual summer music festival featuring upcoming bands as well as more well-known rock and punk acts, including Motion City Soundtrack, Outasight, blessthefall, and Allstar Weekend.
- Vans US Open of Surfing: The most prestigious pro surf/skate event in North America, taking place in Huntington Beach, CA from July 20-28.
- Six Flags – The world’s largest regional theme park company with 18 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. The truth crew is appearing at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, CA; Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA; Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio; Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington; Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, IL; Six Flags St. Louis; Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell, GA; and Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ.
- Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival – Now in its fourth year, this touring music and lifestyle festival’s attendance continues to grow; classic acts such as Alice in Chains and Jane’s Addiction will grace the main stage.
- Vans Presents the Coastal Edge East Coast Surfing Championships – The second longest running surf contest in the world, ECSC is considered by many as the US Open of the East Coast. The event has evolved into a youth culture gathering to witness the pro and amateur surf contest, skateboard demos, a BMX contest and live bands – all taking place over the course of the event – from August 19-25 in Virginia Beach, VA.
- Vans House Parties – a summer series of music shows live from the House of Vans in Brooklyn, NY.
- Spring Awakening Electronic Music Festival - Spring Awakening is an electronic music festival featuring the top DJs and producers from all over the world, taking place in Chicago June 14-16 at Soldier Field.
- GM River Days – GM River Days is a three-day festival taking place on the Detroit River Walk June 21-23, featuring activities and live concerts.
- Major League Gaming Spring Championship: the world’s largest competitive video game league will hold its video game tournament in Anaheim, CA June 28-30.
- The Glo Run – A 5k party/run walk featuring a course energized with colors and light effects jumping to music, with DJs and glow in the dark shirts and swag. truth will have a presence at the Chicago Glo Run on Saturday, June 15
- Run or Dye — The world’s most colorful 5k. Run or Dye takes place in the middle of a big color festival called the Dye Zone. truth will have a presence at the Run or Dye event in San Francisco on Saturday, July 6.
- San Diego LGBT Pride Festival – San Diego’s famous cultural festival held July 13-14 includes musicians, bands, comedy and dance performers, vendor booths, an art exhibit, cultural presentations and food.
The truth.com and online
For the summer 2013 tour, ‘virtual tour experiences’ will be shared throughout truth’s network of social media properties.
- At the main site – www.thetruth.com – free tickets to Vans Warped Tour and Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival stops can be won online. Teens can also play games relating to tobacco-related facts, and get free downloads of posters.
- Twitter Voting – Summer tour activities will tie into truth’s latest advertising campaign – “ugly truth”. An ugly truth leaderboard is featured in the truth zone. Users will vote for the fact they think is the ugliest truth – engaging users with the campaign and sparking dialogue between truth and anyone affected by the facts. Zone visitors will be encouraged to tweet hashtags associated with various “ugly truths”. Beyond the specific voting hashtags, #uglytruth will serve as a general hashtag for those interested in discussing or following the wider conversation around the uglytruth campaign throughout the summer.
- truth® maintains a strong presence on social networks and profile pages on Facebook (facebook.com/truthorange), YouTube (YouTube.com/truthorange), Twitter (Twitter.com/truthorange), Pinterest (Pinterest.com/truthorange), Tumblr (thetruthorange.tumblr.com) and on Instagram (@truthorange). truth’s networks will all incorporate tour-related elements, including videos from each of the distinct tour events and photos that will be posted throughout the summer.
truth Tour Zone and Riders 2013
Art, stunt performance, photography, social media and social activism are just some of the passions of this year’s class of dynamic truth tour riders. At each tour stop, tour riders function as ‘masters of ceremonies’ for a very active tour zone. Activities in the zone are all designed to draw teens near the truth truck and keep them engaged, providing an entrée for one-on-one conversations and interactions for tobacco-related facts and messaging. In the zone, crew members hold karaoke challenges, fashion shows and dance contests; play trivia games; and distribute truth “gear” – fashionable and trendy items reflecting tobacco messages. This year’s gear will include t-shirts, tattoos, smartphone cases, and skateboard decks. Zone visitors can also play truth’s latest mobile game “Graffiti Collective.”
Three-time tour rider Russel Sliwinski, from Milwaukee, WI, says he grew up with a family of smokers and he has seen how smoking impacts the health of several loved ones. “I had a ton of positive experiences when I used to visit the truth zone as a young person. Being a tour rider allows me to change lives and have fun doing it. I want to pass on good information to the next generation and share with them a cause I’m extremely passionate about.”
This year’s truth tour riders and their hometowns include:
2013 Music Tour Riders
2013 Gaming/Sporting/Arts Tour
truth is a multidimensional campaign, featuring not only grassroots outreach through summer tours but also advertising, websites and interactive elements, and events. A growing body of research has confirmed the efficacy of the truth campaign in changing teens’ attitudes and behaviors toward smoking. A study published in the May 2009 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) found that truth was directly responsible for keeping 450,000 teens from starting to smoke during its first four years, from 2000 to 2004. A second paper in that same publication found that the campaign not only paid for itself in its first two years but also saved roughly $1.9 billion and possibly up to $5.4 billion in medical care costs to society.
For the summer 2013 program, Arnold Worldwide (Boston) is responsible for the design of the truth zone and the summer truth gear, Escalate (New York) provides transportation and Vivid (Atlanta) provides asset support.
BACKGROUND ON THE truth CAMPAIGN
truth® is the largest national youth smoking prevention campaign and the only national campaign not directed by the tobacco industry. The campaign exposes the tactics of the tobacco industry, the truth about addiction, and the health effects and social consequences of smoking. truth gives teens facts and information about the tobacco industry and its products, allowing them to make their own informed choices about tobacco use. Research-proven as an effective public health intervention, the campaign is credited with keeping hundreds of thousands of teens from starting to smoke. To learn more, visit www.thetruth.com. truth is directed and funded by Legacy®, a national public health foundation located in Washington, D.C. Legacy® was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about Legacy®’s life-saving programs, visit www.LegacyForHealth.org.
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