Case Study

Antismoking non-profit organisation Truth engages teens and extends message reach on Twitter

Key results

The opportunity

Antismoking non-profit organisation Truth () turns to Twitter as the prime platform to engage teens in real time. Specifically, the organisation uses Twitter to answer questions from its target audience about smoking, drive action with rallying cries, reward activism, and connect its message to cultural events like the Teen Choice Awards and MTV VMAs.

“Twitter has always been the ideal place to have real-time conversations on a mass level as well as individual one-on-one interactions that help establish personal relationships and clear up misconceptions with facts,” says Eric Asche, chief marketing officer at Truth Initiative/truth. “It’s also a powerful way to shine a spotlight and celebrate the work of small groups across the United States, like the teen activists in Minnesota who recently rallied together to ban flavoured tobacco.”

 wants to extend its lifesaving message in a cost-efficient way on Twitter as well as connect with teens across the mobile apps they use throughout the day.

The strategy

On Twitter,  used targeted Promoted Tweets to reach the Twitter users most likely to be interested in and engage with its content. To get in front of the right Twitter audience at the right moment, the non-profit organisation targeted interests like environmental issues, arts and culture, and music.  also targeted of popular teen influencers () to reach their followers as well as TV shows like “Robot Chicken” and “Catfish: The TV Show” and relevant keywords like "smoke free."

For all of its Tweets,  cultivates an authentic, pithy voice to draw teens in. The organisation created entertaining, fast-paced Promoted Videos that laid out facts and information about smoking with a tone that was edgy, never preachy.

“One of the best things about Twitter is how granular we can get about targeting,” says Nicole Dorrler, vice president of marketing at Truth Initiative/truth. “We know Twitter is a fantastic place to connect with a really engaged teen audience and share content that they will find interesting and relevant based on, say, their passions or even their location.”

In addition to its investment on Twitter,  also used the Twitter Audience Platform to expand its reach across thousands of mobile apps. When advertisers extend their campaigns, they can target Promoted Tweets and Promoted Videos to app users, reaching a total audience of more than 700 million people with a single click. This enables advertisers to instantly and efficiently increase reach and connect with the consumers who are most likely to be interested in their messages and products.

“Twitter has amazing strengths in targeting and connecting with niche audiences,” says Cas Marburger, social media manager at Truth Initiative/truth. “And with a teen audience, it’s essential to reach them where they are in as seamless a way as possible. The Twitter Audience Platform is a powerful vehicle that now lets us get information out to teens when they aren’t necessarily on Twitter. We can reach them when they’re playing a game or in their favourite app.”

On the Twitter Audience Platform,  captured the attention of teens with immersive, high-impact ad units, such as videos and full-screen interstitials.

“On Twitter and across the Twitter Audience Platform, ads aren’t intrusive,” says Marburger. “They feel relevant and natural and that’s critical to the type of message we have and our audience. We aren’t selling a product. Our goal is to save lives.”

Tailor your voice and content to your audience.

To influence teen behaviour, develops content that is factual and forward-thinking. The organisation likes to push the envelope in its creative approach, sharing the information that will help teens make informed decisions, but never preaches to them.

Reward followers in real time.

To drive engagement,  aligns its message to live televised events that teens care about like the Grammys. The team runs “war rooms” during these events to monitor the conversation, shift strategy or targeting in the moment, and create content that enriches the experience for viewers.

The organisation also creates live moments that reward, engage, and thank supporters. Recently, partnered with a popular graffiti artist to tag of followers during a Periscope stream.


Tap into the best mobile inventory with the Twitter Audience Platform. 

People look at their phones 150 times per day and spend 80% of their time in apps (versus the mobile web).* Because our technology powers many of the apps on our platform, advertisers like  can use the Twitter Audience Platform to easily extend high-performing Promoted Tweet or Promoted Video campaigns— both targeting and creative— to reach over 700 million people on and off of Twitter. All with a single click.

*Sources: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’s 2013; comScore Mobile Metrix, U.S., Age 18+, June 2014

The success

By running promoted campaigns on both Twitter and the Twitter Audience Platform,  has generated engagement rates as high as 15% and costs per engagement as low as $0.05. The organisation also extended reach by one-and-a-half times.

“Twitter has been the most amazing partner, really letting us experiment and learn what keeps our target audience engaged. Both on Twitter and using Twitter Audience Platform, we have been able to engage in the conversations that matter. The scale has given us a new way to affect positive change in the world,” Asche says.

Our ROI is human life. The fact that the smoking rate among teens has gone down from 23% to 8% since we started our movement is our success metric. Twitter has definitely played a pivotal role in that and will continue to until that number goes down to zero.

Eric Asche (), Chief Marketing Officer at Truth Initiative/truth

Solutions used

Expanding reach

Tweets are everywhere. And this enormous, international real-time reach is within your brand’s grasp.

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Creative Canvas

Brands on Twitter are connecting with users in unique and creative ways every day. And so can you.

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