The American Legacy Foundation—a national public health organization dedicated to eradicating smoking in youth and young adults—was established and funded following the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between the Big Tobacco industry and the attorney generals’ from 46 states and five U.S. territories. Long an advocate and ally to anti-smoking groups around the nation, their most widely known and successful prevention programs is the award-winning truth® Campaign.
The truth® Campaign achieved tremendous impact and recognition, successfully connecting with a Gen Y audience by using an assertive and irreverent tone. But the organization recognized that speaking to the Millennial generation required a fresh voice, a revamped branding strategy, and that a strengthened organizational brand would enhance its mission to end youth smoking.
To understand how to reposition and unite a single organization that was seen as two entities, our teams conducted in-depth, proprietary quantitative and qualitative research to assess the position of Legacy against its peers across the market. Our research revealed that Legacy’s potential was much bigger than abolishing smoking across the nation. The organization had broader capabilities and success in the field of youth marketing and behavioral change. We determined that the truth® brand had significant equity in tobacco control that stretched well beyond its intended youth audience and could support a broader narrative and mandate. Though they were traditionally kept separate, the main takeaway of the research: there were substantial benefits in uniting the organizational healthcare brand—Legacy—with the campaign brand—truth®.
Within our research, we market tested many names that could preserve the equity from both the truth® campaign and that of the Legacy foundation. After qualifying all possible names, our expert brand naming team at Siegel+Gale developed a new name, “truth initiative”, with the accompanying tagline, “Inspiring tobacco free lives.” The name and message resonates with a generation of optimistic and forward-looking young people seeking to take action in the fight against tobacco.
From there, we developed unique messaging and healthcare branding strategy, voice, as well as a comprehensive visual identity in conjunction with the new name. To signal this new brand, we designed an instantly iconic symbol that drew equity from the truth campaign wordmark. By leveraging their signature orange circular form from the truth campaign ads, we developed a confident and contemporary visual presence that translates seamlessly across print, environmental and digital brand touchpoints.
Since unveiling their new, unified brand, the truth initiative has seen a continued reduction in youth smoking across the nation, with research reporting that youth smoking had reached its lowest levels in 22 years in 2014.
Ultimately, the new branding strategy creates greater cohesion around a central idea, clearly conveying the purpose and promise of the organization, rallying people and communities across generations to take initiative and become the generation that ends smoking.