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Sensis Wins Best of Show at the Aster Awards for FDA Smokeless Doesn’t Mean Harmless Campaign

Monday, June 19, 2017


The cultural change agency took home the highest award for its work launching the first nationwide campaign to prevent smokeless tobacco use. 

Los Angeles, CA (June 19, 2017)—The “Smokeless Doesn’t Mean Harmless Campaign” took home Best of Show at the Aster Awards, one of the largest national competitions of its kind. This elite program recognized outstanding healthcare professionals for excellence in their advertising and marketing efforts for the calendar year 2016.

Sensis was the agency of record for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s expansion of its award winning “The Real Cost” campaign. The cross-cultural marketing agency was tasked with developing a marketing campaign aimed at educating rural, white male teenagers about the negative health consequences associated with smokeless tobacco use. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, each day in the U.S. nearly 1,000 males under the age of 18 use smokeless tobacco for the first time.

To target youth in rural counties, Sensis developed a 360 campaign that targeted youth at home, in familiar environments, and where they already consumed digital media. Sensis used facts and authentic, straightforward content that delivered discomfort to bring immediacy to the real cost of smokeless tobacco use. By creating cognitive dissonance, the campaign influenced the target audience to rethink their relationship with smokeless tobacco, leading to decrease in their intent to use.

Sensis received the award for a series of five television spots for The Real Cost campaign, each focusing on the messaging pillars of health consequences, harmful chemicals, and loss of control. These served as the foundation for the central message: “Smokeless doesn’t mean harmless.” This disruptive messaging was meant to modulate perspectives while maintaining consistency with the core point view of “The Real Cost” brand.

As part of campaign marketing tactics, Sensis worked with Minor League Baseball to launch a robust sponsorship program with teams across 25 markets nationwide, and produced the third most watched commercial for The Real Cost campaign, “Face of Dip.” Reports found that for duration of the campaign, results were not only higher than government benchmarks, but were better than initial findings from the combustible or smoking launch in 2014.

For further information, please contact Angela Bermudo, Sensis Earned Media Manager, through abermudo@sensisagency.com or (213)226-8929.