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From the 2nd Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Our Story | This Free Life

Entered in Video

About this entry

This Free Life is the first-ever national tobacco-prevention effort dedicated to reaching LGBT young adults ages 18 to 24. This Free Life is designed to challenge the perception that tobacco use is a necessary part of LGBT culture and to show LGBT young adults they can be the person they want to be and still live tobacco-free. The goal is to affect positive change in knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs that lead to behavior change among LGBT young adults who are occasional smokers.

This Free Life aims to increase perceived risk of tobacco use and increase the importance of living tobacco-free while also aligning tobacco-free benefits with values associated with LGBT young adults. Changing perceived norms requires both increasing perceived pride for tobacco-free lifestyles and increasing perceived rejection of tobacco among LGBT young adults.

At launch, the campaign's initial objectives were:

1. Develop compelling ads with a minimum Perceived Ad Effectiveness (PAE) score of 3.0 out of 5.0 as measured through a multi-market study of 1,061 LGBT young adults with a randomized control group. The PAE score measures an ads ability to change desired attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs among the particular target audience.

2. Establish This Free Life as the foremost LGBT tobacco prevention campaign by leveraging LGBT culture to communicate with LGBT young adults about the harms of tobacco use at the most relevant moments in their day.

3. Drive the audience to deeper messages and experiences by prioritizing interactive engagement online and offline.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

"Joy is on the horizon. Health and happiness—these are our new destinations. But a factor that seems casual to some in the community can get in our way. Like tobacco....This new life—free from judgment, free from the shadows—will also be free from tobacco." With these words, "This Free Life," launched an its inaugural video, "Our Story," aimed at reaching LGBT young adults with an inspirational message about living an openly and proud LGBT, tobacco-free life.

About 2 million young adults in the U.S. today identify as LGBT. This population is more than twice as likely to use tobacco as their non-LGBT counterparts. This Free Life aims to create positive behavior change by aligning the benefits of living tobacco-free with LGBT values, delivering messages on the risks of tobacco use, and increasing pride for living tobacco-free.

Prior to This Free Life's launch the conversation around tobacco use in the LGBT community was nearly silent, particularly for those younger, most at-risk members of the audience. For a new brand to enter this space and engage authentically with the community to change perceptions around tobacco use, This Free Life had to carefully leverage key insights about the experiences of LGBT young adults in a credible way. In this way, Our Story was the perfect way to introduce the brand to this audience. LGBT young adults are an extremely diverse population, mixing gender identities, sexual orientation, and subcultures with unique and shared attitudes, values, and norms. The strategic approach for this campaign has four key components that tend to apply to the entire LGBT young adult population

  1. LGBT young adults have experienced difficulties in their lives because of their sexuality and gender identity.
  2. LGBT young adults are proud of who they are, including their sexuality and gender identity.
  3. LGBT young adults care about their appearance and what others think of them.
  4. LGBT young adults are highly social and often see their friends as family

Our Story features real LGBT young adults sharing their stories and embracing a message that we've come too far as an LGBT community to be held back by tobacco. This ad recognizes that many in the community have experienced difficulties in their lives related to being LGBT. While personal experiences vary in terms of how difficult they were, LGBT young adults have all shared in the experience of "coming out," which is unique to this community and a tie that binds them together. In this ad, "This Free Life" features LGBT influencers sharing their personal stories.


This Free Life surpassed its benchmark of 75% reach and 15X frequency quarter over quarter, which is a proven metric of behavior change.

Specific to the "Our Story" creative, while the full length (70-sec) version of the Our Story video carried the greatest weight of delivering the brand's message during this time, it was also supported by several other extension videos that were each 15sec in length and designed to help target subgroups within the LGBT populations. Collectively these Our Story videos have received over 3MM views across Youtube and Facebook and helped generate over 463K engagements on Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr and Youtube from May through July 2016.

Additionally, these videos were supported by other Our Story themed content that ran across a variety of media channels during this same time period including print, out-of-home, digital, social, and events. Together the Our Story content across these channels igniting a positive conversation around living openly LGBT AND tobacco-free in places where this conversation had not previously existed. Some measurable KPIs from the time period that Our Story ran include:

● Impressions - 365,595,115

● Clicks - 580,540 (0.34% CTR)

● Video Completions - 12,932,646 (85% VCR)

● Web Visits - 250,359

● Exploratory Engagement on Social (Post Likes/Reactions, Views, Clicks)

○Facebook - 2,887,667

○Instagram - 2,515,827

○Tumblr - 269,197

● Active Engagements (Trivia Completions, Polls/Quizzes, Comments, Shares, Reblogs, Use of #ThisFreeLife)

○Website - 6,733

○Social Media (FB, IG, Tumblr) - 76,422

○Local Events - 4,906


Video for Our Story | This Free Life

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Rescue | The Behavior Change Agency, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – Center for Tobacco Products (CTP)


Entry Credits