PURPOSE: The aim of the study was to assess awareness of and receptivity to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Fresh Empire tobacco public education campaign designed to reach Hip Hop-identified youth, who are at higher smoking risk.
METHODS: The evaluation uses a randomized treatment-control design with 15 campaign-targeted treatment and 15 control markets. We conducted surveys among 12- to 17-year-olds before campaign launch and at approximately 6-month intervals. Analyses explore treatment-control differences in Fresh Empire brand and video advertisement awareness at individual survey rounds and over time and perceived effectiveness of advertisements.
RESULTS: Awareness of the Fresh Empire brand was higher among youth in treatment than control markets following campaign launch (ps < .01). Awareness of the Fresh Empire brand increased more in treatment than control over time (adjusted odds ratio = 3.26, 95% confidence interval = 1.90-5.58). At follow-ups 1 and 3, youth in treatment (vs. control) were more likely to report high and less likely to report low awareness of video advertisements (ps < .05). There were no treatment-control differences in video awareness at follow-up 2 (not significant). Fresh Empire video advertisements had perceived effectiveness scores ranging from 3.66 to 4.11 (1-5 scale) across three survey rounds.
CONCLUSIONS: Among the campaign audience of Hip Hop-identified youth, awareness of the Fresh Empire campaign was higher in treatment than control markets at individual survey rounds, and increases in campaign awareness were greater in treatment than control markets over time. Campaign advertisements also elicited positive audience reactions. Findings suggest that heavily digital campaigns may take longer to achieve Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recommended 75% quarterly awareness.