From 2017 to 2018, the public health community cringed as current e-cigarette use—using JUULs or other vape products—increased 78 percent among high school students, according to CDC research. Since nobody knows the long-term effects of these products, there’s a lot to be concerned about. But short-term effects of JUUL pods and vape pens have a massive environmental impact, too.
It was truth's objective to make JUUL and e-cig waste relevant to a critical teen audience by connecting it to the things they care about most—like the environment.
E-cigs, like JUULs, leach nicotine and toxic metals into the environment. They qualify as both bio-hazard waste and e-waste. Plus, all that plastic. Straws had a big moment this year, and bans on straws were championed by our target demographic, but disposable JUUL pods and other vape products were also quietly wrecking the Earth with fruity-flavored sludge.
Our goal was to top previous environmentally-focused videos we'd created and exceed 30 million views with this new news that directly impacts products our target demographic uses.
We wanted to pair new news about the environmental impact of vaping/JUULing with an unexpected format--heavy metal. What better combo to draw attention to the *toxic* metals and chemicals that leach out of discarded pods and e-cigarettes?
By using an eye-catching, costumed singer for our metal efforts, we expected to stop our target audience and bring focus on the environmental impact of vaping.
We launched this initiative around Earth Day for maximum impact. When people are looking for earth-friendly facts and content, we deliver. Unexpectedly.
By rolling out our highly shareable video content across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat around Earth Day, we were able to naturally join the existing conversation and bring focus to our own issue—that e-cigs leach toxic chemicals and heavy metals into the environment.
Across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Instagram Stories and Snapchat, our metal creative received more than 70 million views, absolutely annihilating our previous cigarette-focused Earth Week creative and destroying our 30 million view goal.
But most importantly, we dropped some heavy metal on a holiday devoted to the trees to get people to think twice about how vaping impacts the things they care about.