case study


A tobacco prevention campaign targeting high-risk teens that associates Country values with a tobacco-free lifestyle.

Lookin' Out

Lookin' Out

Common Sense

Common Sense

No Fix For Dip

No Fix For Dip

The Challenge


Country teens are at increased risk for using chew and dip tobacco products.


Data shows that Caucasian teens in rural settings have higher incidences of using smokeless tobacco (chew).

Through psychographic segmentation, we have found that teens who identify with the Country peer crowd are at significantly higher risk for using chew or dip.

Our challenge is to shift social norms within the Country peer crowd to discourage tobacco use. High-risk Country teens are undeterred by broad health messaging about the health risks of tobacco use, and so our intervention must position health information within the context of our high-risk audience and their values.

Behavior Change Approach

Use a Social Branding approach to align Country values with being tobacco-free.

We developed the Down and Dirty brand to associate a tobacco-free lifestyle with Country teen values, identities, and lifestyles.

Down and Dirty achieves this by using Rescue’s Social Branding approach, a peer crowd-targeted strategy which associates peer crowd values with a tobacco-free lifestyle. Using this strategy, Down and Dirty strives to show Country teens how living tobacco-free aligns with their desired identity.

Audience Insights

Through research with Country teens, we have found the following salient audience insights that are common among the Country peer crowd.

1) My life and the legacy I leave for my family will be tobacco-free

2) Chewing dip costs money that can take away from my Country lifestyle

3) I build things up, but chew can tear me down

Implementation Strategy

  • SOCIAL & DIGITAL MEDIA

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    Organic social content aligns with Country lifestyle activities and interests, like hunting, trucks, and being outdoors. We then use paid social and digital media to drive traffic to videos, interactive web experiences, and promoted posts that connect County values and a tobacco-free lifestyle.
  • INTERACTIVE WEB EXPERIENCES

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    These experiences range from quizzes to user-generated content competitions that prompt the Country audience to participate in two-way messaging where the audience receives tobacco-free messaging that is authentic to Country culture.
  • EVENTS & BRAND
    AMBASSADORS

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    We identify and partner with tobacco-free Country teens who represent the audience lifestyle, and engage them as brand ambassadors to project a tobacco-free social norm. We then partner with local events that are frequented by Country teens, (for example, local mud bogs or 4x4 events), and host a series of interactive games and conversations with brand ambassadors. This helps integrate Down and Dirty into the Country community, further enhancing our brand authenticity and affinity, and making it more likely our health message will be received and believed.

Results and Impact


Annual evaluations of Down and Dirty in both Virginia and Vermont indicate reductions of tobacco use during the brand’s first two years in market. Initial findings point to a promising intervention to reduce tobacco use among this hard to reach, high-risk group of American teens.

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