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TSET Through With Chew Campaign


Through With Chew Week is an annual, weeklong event focused on encouraging smokeless tobacco users to quit by using the services provided by the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline. In order to encourage Oklahomans to quit during this week, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline enlisted VI’s services to spread messaging about Through With Chew Week.


Before we developed a strategy, we researched looked at different anti-smokeless campaigns to see how this topic is usually marketed. We found that most campaigns target the rural man and create materials that highlight this common stereotype. From our research, we found that rural males are not the only smokeless users; many are urban males and even females. We also studied common behaviors associated with smokeless tobacco, and we found that many turn to smokeless tobacco with the thought that it is a much safer alternative to smoking cigarettes.


VI’s objective was to create a campaign that would result in 25% more smokeless tobacco users registering for Helpline services.


To better connect with our audience, VI decided to base the strategy on education rather than pushing messaging about the stereotypical smokeless user. We focused our strategy on educating Oklahomans about the harmful effects of smokeless tobacco, revealing the fact that it is not a safe alternative to smoking, while also providing information about the services offered by the Helpline.


  • Creative: Through internal brainstorms and research, the campaign we developed focused on the message “You don’t have to light up to get burned by tobacco.” This campaign educated people by providing facts about smokeless tobacco use that highlighted the fact that it is not a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes.
  • Media: We created a mini-campaign using several different forms of media to better reach our target audience. We utilized social media, digital media, print advertising and earned media.
    • Social media: Our goal with social media was to engage our followers on Facebook and Twitter by starting conversations. Focusing on the education factor, we found that branded images with succinct messaging performed better, so we created a series of five branded images with messaging that complemented our overall campaign.
    • Digital media: we purchased specialty digital media that ran on local news station websites in OKC and Tulsa. We chose these sites, as we found many people start their days by visiting news sites.
    • Print: We created a print ad for local grantees to run across the state in their local papers in order to connect with smaller towns in Oklahoma.
    • Earned: We developed a press release that was sent to news outlets statewide and also to our grantee network to pitch to local newspapers.


  • During Through With Chew Week, the amount of smokeless users who registered for Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline services increased by nearly 38%, surpassing our objective by 13%.
  • 535 residents registered for Helpline services during the campaign (19.95% increase over week prior)
  • 117 residents registered for web only Helpline services during the campaign (32.95% increase over week prior)
  • On social, we had a post reach of more than 38,000 with 70,000+ impressions and just under 2,000 engagements
  • Our speciality digital placements garnered more than 170,000 impressions and 200+ clicks
  • The print ad and press release resulted in the publication of 21 news articles and 11 grantee Through With Chew print ads
  • Articles on Through with Chew based on the press release ran in numerous papers across the state


VI Marketing and Branding has been the TSET Media Services partner since 2007. Created by voters in 2000, TSET is an endowment trust established with payments from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between 46 states and the tobacco industry. Funds are invested by a Board of Investors and only the earnings from those investments are used by a Board of Directors to support efforts to improve the health of Oklahomans.

Customized health communication interventions are proven to be one of the most effective strategies for reducing tobacco use and promoting healthy behaviors in a population. Sometimes referred to as ‘advertising,’ these interventions are programmatic efforts designed to improve the knowledge, attitudes and healthy behaviors of specific, targeted audiences over time. Health communication interventions consist of researched, tested and evaluated public health-focused marketing campaigns with coordinated elements for earned, paid and owned content.

The goal of TSET’s investments in health communication interventions is to reduce the leading causes of preventable death in our state – cancer and cardiovascular disease – by preventing and reducing the two main risk factors – obesity and tobacco use. Through rigorous evaluation, TSET health communication interventions – Tobacco Stops With Me, Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline and Shape Your Future – are proven to increase healthy lifestyle choices by Oklahomans.