NEW truth® MOBILE GAME GRAFFITI COLLECTIVE DELIVERS CREATIVITY, SOCIAL FUN WITH A SIDE OF HEALTH EDUCATION
Washington, D.C., June 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — truth, the nation’s largest youth smoking prevention campaign, today launched its latest mobile game, Graffiti Collective. In Graffiti Collective, players use their creative skills to create on-screen graffiti “Tags,” “Throwies” and “Burners” that can be geo-tagged or overlaid on players’ photos. The game’s storyline brings people together to reclaim the streets from graffiti artists spreading propaganda. Graffiti Collective is available for free download on select Apple and Android devices.
“truth always aims to connect with teens’ passions and interests, choosing initiatives and channels where we know teens and young people like to be,” said Cheryl G. Healton, DrPH, president and CEO of Legacy®, the national public health foundation that directs and funds the truth campaign. “With Graffiti Collective, truth reaches teens through their mobile devices with a fun, artistic and educating game that allows young people to explore their creativity through graffiti art and then share with friends.”
Graffiti Collective was inspired by a 1998 document found in Big Tobacco’s files that discusses “covertly” contacting graffiti artists to ask them to paint for the companies “in key locations.” In the game, players join “The Collective” (TIV) with the goal of ridding their “home turf” of “Mind Fake Inc.” (MFI) – a group of graffiti artists hired to spread propaganda.
The game invites players to interact through four main portals: Create, Battle, Explore and SprayPix.
- Players can create their own unique graffiti pieces. Players start with creating a “Tag,” the most basic form of graffiti in the game.
- As players progress, they acquire different paint colors, fonts, symbols, and other cool effects that allow them to create “Throwies,” “Burners” and “Free-Style” works of graffiti.
- Using the location-awareness of mobile devices, players will be prompted to expose and eradicate MFI’s lies by placing their own artwork over MFI’s.
- Various missions will become available as players progress through the game. By completing these missions, players will earn “Skillz” that can be used to purchase additional graffiti fonts and paint colors.
- Players can post the pieces they have created on any location of the map for other players to view. If they see a piece they like, they can give it “Props”. “Props” give players additional “Respect” points. As players earn more “Respect”, they will level up and have access to more advanced graffiti techniques as well as additional fonts and paint colors.
- Augmented reality allows players the ability to superimpose their virtual graffiti pieces over a real-life photo. The piece appears in their viewfinder preview and they can then align it with objects in the surrounding environment. As they take the photo from within the game, the piece is merged as an overlay.
- Players can share their photos with their Facebook friends through a share button.
truth has offered games on its campaign website (www.thetruth.com) since 2006, but Graffiti Collective marks truth’s third mobile app in the past three years. Mobile game usage among smartphone users remains high. According to Nielsen’s Mobile Insights 2012, 61% of smartphone users regularly play games on their smartphones. With Graffiti Collective, truth continues to evolve and connect with teens through their ‘passions’ – like gaming, art, music and sports – to inspire conversation with teens and young people around the issue of tobacco use. Tobacco-related information occasionally appears in the game, but is not the central focus. As players progress through the game, they are served facts that correspond with game plot points. The more engaged the user, the more knowledge the user receives.
Creating a game relating to graffiti art taps into truth’s interest in connecting with teens through topics that interest or inspire young people. While street culture is not new to today’s youth, graffiti artists like Banksy and Pixnit have brought the art to a more mainstream, pop culture audience, where finished work can be found in exhibits and online productions as easily as art is seen on the street. With teens increasing their affinity for this culture, the genre presents an opportune way to reach and converse with teens, offering a platform that may be of more interest than traditional health messaging genres.
“With the launch of Graffiti Collective, truth continues to reach out to teens through the devices and apps that they already spend time on,” said Eric Asche, Chief Marketing Officer of Legacy. “Since Graffiti Collective can be used both socially and as an art creation tool, truth is providing teens with an outlet for creativity while also sharing valuable facts about tobacco that truth has been delivering to teens for more than a decade.”
The game is available for free download on iOS 4.5+ and most Android 2.2+ devices. Users must connect to wifi to download the game.
- For iOS 4+: iPhone 4/4S and 5 &iPad 2 & 3 &iPadMini.
- For Android: Will support (4) Four Android versions (4.0, 3.0, 2.3, 2.2).
WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA:
As with every truth experience or initiative, a heavy online and interactive presence extends truth’s messages and allows teens to share information with their friends and peers organically. Social media and interactive efforts around the Graffiti Collective initiative include:
- Website – http://www.thetruth.com/games/ serves as the main website for all truth gaming-related initiatives. Users can see information about Graffiti Collective, check the truth summer tour schedule, and play classic truth online games. Visitors can all see featured art from the game, get game tips and graffiti insights, snag downloadable music from earned game codes (featuring artists and musicians whose music will play in the game), and see video interviews from truth’s Artist Collective.
- Integrations and original truth content will also be available at branded truth social sites for teens and young adults to view and share, including:
MEDIA BUY DETAILS:
Advertising elements related to Graffiti Collective will run on online properties popular with teens and gamers, including:
- Intergi – The number 1 gaming and entertainment community online.
- Complex – The premier multi-media platform for the most influential young male consumers.
- Other media properties include: Flurry, AdTheorant, mdotm and inmobi.
Advertising will run starting June 14.
Complex: Street artist Jurne will demo the app and provide a video review of Graffiti Collective. Additionally, several Twitter personalities and media entities will hold challenges with their respective fans on who can create the best art pieces. Such personalities include: Eli Reed, Tay Jardine, Gilbere Forte, Joshua Kissi, Ashley Outrageous, Game Rant, Kicks on Fire, Highsnobiety, and Complex.
Intergi: truth is collaborating with professional Cosplayer Jessica Nigri and Internet sensation Joe Moses. Both personalities will create a series of videos in order to challenge their fans to interact with them via the game and their personal social feeds. Jessica has gained fame traveling to gaming conventions in various costumes. Joe Moses first rose to Internet stardom portraying Severus Snape in Starkid Production’s “A Very Potter Musical” and is an active writer and comedian in the entertainment industry.
truth’s popular summer tour – now in the field for more than a decade – will include various arts and gaming-related events. The tour allows truth ‘tour riders’ the opportunity to highlight the game and give free demos of the new game directly at the truth truck. On tour, attendees can use the Graffiti Collective app to design their own tags. Participants can than choose to print out their designs on “Hello My Name is” stickers. Tour riders will visit more than 30 states this summer as part of the effort.
Vans Custom Culture – truth worked with partner Vans to add a unique element to Vans’ ongoing “Custom Culture” competition. Custom Culture is a national high school shoe customization contest, where high schools from all over the U.S. compete for a chance to win money for their art programs. This year, Vans and truth ran an additional contest layer, where finalist schools designed skateboard decks around this tobacco industry fact: “As early as 1998, execs from one major tobacco company discussed ‘covertly’ contacting graffiti artists to paint for them in key locations.” The contest complements truth’s launch of its third major mobile game, Graffiti Collective. For creating the most compelling design, three students and one teacher from Mountain View High School in Meridian, Idaho were honored at a celebration event on June 11th at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, where the grand prize winner in the Vans Custom Culture competition was unveiled. Additionally, as the winner of the skateboard design contest, Mountain View High received $10,000 to support school arts programs.
The Graffiti Collective concept was produced by Legacy in partnership with game developer Mighty Play of San Francisco. A graffiti artist on staff at Mighty Play designed all of the fonts within the game and provided creative direction on gameplay to make the user experience authentic to the graffiti world. Engage In-Game Advertising, also of San Francisco, managed the project.
Media can access background information on the Graffiti Collective initiative, including screenshots, photos and other creative assets at: www.insidegraffiticollective.com.
BACKGROUND ON THE truth CAMPAIGN:
truth®, launched in February 2000, 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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