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Fresh Empire Campaign

Fresh Empire

Fresh Empire launched in 2015 with the goal of preventing and reducing tobacco use among at-risk youth ages 12-17 who identify with hip-hop culture, specifically African American, Hispanic, and Asian American/ Pacific Islander youth.  

When the campaign launched, nearly 5 million multicultural youth were open to smoking or were already experimenting with cigarettes—meaning they had already smoked up to 100 cigarettes in their lifetime1 —highlighting a group that could greatly benefit from stronger, more targeted youth tobacco prevention efforts. 

To reach this niche group of teens, the campaign associated living tobacco-free with desirable hip-hop lifestyles through a variety of interactive marketing tactics including the use of traditional paid media, engagement through multiple digital platforms, and outreach at the local level. 

The target audience was developed using a segmentation approach that focuses on youth who share the same core ideals, have similar life experiences and common interests, and are at higher risk for tobacco use. 

Extensive formative research was conducted to develop audience insights and inform messaging approaches prior to the campaign’s launch and throughout the period it was in-market. Paid media for the campaign concluded in 2019 and findings from the outcome evaluation show the campaign was successful reaching the hard-to-reach target audience and achieved high reach, high brand equity, and positive receptivity to campaign ads. FDA is in the process of publishing research findings from the campaign. 



  • Hermes Awards 
    • 2020 Gold: Social Marketing category 
    • 2020 Platinum: Social Media category 
    • 2019 Gold: Social Video category 
    • 2019 Platinum: Social Marketing category 
    • 2018 Platinum: Event Marketing category 
    • 2018 Gold: Website Overall - Government category 
  • Telly Awards 
    • 2019 Gold: Craft - Use of Graphics for Online Commercials category 
    • 2019 Silver: Craft - Use of 3D Animation for Online Commercials 
    • 2019 Bronze: General - Health and Wellness for Online Commercials 
    • 2018 Bronze: Motivational for Online category  
    • 2018 Bronze: Campaign: Social Responsibility for Branded Content category  
    • 2017 Silver: Motivational” category for Video / Shows / Segments 
    • 2017 Bronze: Public Interest & Awareness Promotional Pieces category 
  • 2017 Association of National Advertisers (ANA) 
    • Winner, Multicultural Excellence Awards, Experiential category 
  • Shorty Social Good Awards 
    • 2017 finalist in the Instagram category 
    • 2016 finalist in the Public Health category

1. Based on 2013 data from NYTS on experimentation and openness to smoking among youth and 2014 youth population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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