Piloting EX, a social marketing campaign to prompt smoking cessation
This article focuses on the development, implementation, and evaluation of a branded smoking cessation campaign piloted in four cities in the United States. The development of the EX brand and messaging strategies were based on existing public health literature and extensive formative research. Market segmentation was specifically employed to create messages that would resonate with a defined target audience, smokers who were thinking about quitting smoking. This approach led to the creation of a campaign with an empathetic and hopeful tone that was designed to change relevant beliefs about smoking and to increase smokers' self-efficacy in regard to quitting smoking. As part of a comprehensive evaluation, telephone surveys were conducted in three pilot cities to measure awareness of and receptivity to the EX brand. Awareness of EX varied across the three markets based on the media buy. Receptivity to the EX brand was high across the three samples comprised of three different racial/ethnic populations. High receptivity was also found among the target audience: smokers who were thinking about quitting smoking. Findings from this pilot campaign helped to inform the launch of a national smoking cessation campaign.