Maximizing the impact of digital media campaigns to promote smoking cessation: A case study of the California Tobacco Control Program and the California Smokers’ Helpline
Background and Purpose: Digital media (e.g., banner ads, video ads) is often used to encourage smoking cessation by increasing quitline call volume through direct promotion to smokers or indirect promotion through smoker proxies. This process evaluation study highlights the use of digital media in a proxy-targeted campaign to promote the California Smokers’ Helpline to health care professionals. Methods: Data were collected from October 2009 to September 2012. We describe the iterative development of the campaign’s digital media activities and report campaign summaries of web metrics (website visits, webinar registrations, downloads of online materials, online orders for promotional materials) and media buy (gross impressions) tracking data. Results: The campaign generated more than 2.7 million gross impressions from digital media sources over three campaign waves. Online orders for promotional materials increased almost 40% over the course of the campaign. Conclusion: A clearly defined campaign strategy ensured that there was a systematic approach in developing and implementing campaign activities. It also ensured that lessons learned from previous waves were incorporated; one lesson included the frequent rotation of new ad content to keep the target audience engaged.