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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards


Finalist in Influencer & Celebrity Campaign, Social Good Campaign

Bronze Honor in Video

Entered in Hashtag


truth is a non-profit brand that combats teen smoking.

Smoking is being re-glamorized in pop culture. There's been a rise of smoking in movies and in video games, and emerging tobacco products like hookahs and little cigars are getting a lot of attention. So we needed to get people talking about smoking as an issue. Smoking is an issue. It's still the number one cause of preventable death.

The challenge is today's teens are the first generation to grow up knowing that smoking is absolutely awful--deadly, addictive, black lungs--but more than 3,800 people younger than 18 smoke their first cigarette every day. That tells us facts about long-term effects of addiction, disease and death aren't relevant or noteworthy. We needed to reframe the risk of smoking in a way that impacted them now, not fifty years from now.

Our goal was to create a moment to raise the debate about smoking and smoking's risks, which helps us get back into the conversation and stay there. We can't just create buzz--we have to land a resonant message to change behavior. For #LeftSwipeDat we focused on exposing one risk of smoking that actually mattered to our audience now—that smoking hurts your chances of hooking up.

Strategy and Execution

For decades, cigarettes glamorized, which resulted in a perception that smoking makes you look cool/attractive. But research showed this did not translate to the world of online dating. In 2014, Tinder was the fastest growing dating app and it was easier than ever for our demo to meet new people to date or hook up with. According to a study by, when you smoke in your profile pics, you get half the number of Tinder matches. By exposing this fact, we could reframe the risks of smoking in a way that would actually impact teens in the moment--not when they're 90.

At the Grammys—music's biggest night of the year—we illuminated the negative impact that smoking can have on one's dating life with an original song and music video titled "Left Swipe Dat" that was co- created and distributed by top and up-and-coming internet Influencers.

We had to get the word out in a way teens would trust. And, in 2015, the most impactful way was by enlisting Team Internet, the self-created stars of YouTube, Vine and other social channels. A 2014 Variety magazine study revealed that 5 out of the 10 most influential people among Americans ages 13-18 were YouTube creators. Having people like Grace Helbig, King Bach, Becky G and 5th Harmony at the core of our campaign was integral to authentically and instantaneously connecting with our audience.

We created an original song and music video to feel native to the cultural moment of The Grammys. The video premiered during a commercial break and was seamlessly incorporated into the programming of the night. Kicking off the conversation in a big and disruptive way with content that felt native to The Grammys was a perfect fit because our audience spends 4-5 hours a day listening to music, and releasing our video during the show gave us permission to premiere it like a legit music video.

We knew there would be significant social chatter when fans saw their favorite online stars singing on TV—especially on a stage as big as The Grammys. The 10 Influencers we worked with had over 34.54MM combined followers across all their channels. To stoke the buzz on launch night, we focused on Twitter and YouTube, where their fanbases lived. We also strongly highlighted #LeftSwipeDat in our spot to create a catchy hashtag for viewers to use across social channels. Our Influencers helped further amplify reach by posting about #LeftSwipeDat in an authentic way to their devoted followers.

In the months that followed our premiere, we engaged with a new group of Influencers to create their own mash up versions of "Left Swipe Dat" and promoted both the Creator's channels and truth's owned channels. We also released a super-cut version of the video with fans and their favorite creators.


In a word: Amazing. We kinda stole the show at the Grammys.

We had #LeftSwipeDat as the #1 Worldwide Twitter Trending Topic at two points during the Grammys--ahead of #Grammys.

We beat our previous campaign's social metrics in the first 10 minutes, with 10k Twitter mentions. In total there were 17k mentions on launch night and 100k mentions over the course of the campaign.

The campaign drove 690,130 Influencer engagements and 233,847 owned channel engagements.

We earned 3x as many total campaign mentions as our previous campaign (100k vs. 24.3k) and extended our reach by earning 1.9 billion media impressions.

We also changed attitudes toward smoking in youth culture. "Left Swipe Dat" was added organically to Urban Dictionary.

We had more than 1.4 million organic views--and 39 million total views--of the spot. And we increased awareness of truth as a brand to 83% (from 33%).

But, most importantly, Tyler Oakley Tweeted about our use of Team Internet during the Grammys.


Video for #LeftSwipeDat

Entrant Company / Organization Name

truth, 72andSunny, Assembly, Ketchum


Entry Credits