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truth and Vans team up to spread life-saving messages

Our Finishers are influential youth and young adults within their peer groups. They share a commitment to making theirs the generation that ends tobacco use. And like others in their generation, they want to associate with brands that they believe are making positive change.


truth has been connected to music, gaming, sports, art and fashion since the beginning.
Truth teaming with the right partner brands to reach influential teens

truth® is a lifestyle brand. From the beginning, truth has been connected to music, gaming, sports, art and fashion. And we’ve worked alongside a small family of other lifestyle brands who share our commitment to reaching youth and young adults with life-saving and -changing messages – including the iconic Southern California footwear and apparel maker Vans.

Since 2000 we’ve recruited teams of talented, passionate and influential young marketers to tour the country, making stops at entertainment and music events where teens gather. These teams bring our brand to life and share truth’s life-saving messages in a relatable, peer-to-peer way.  And from the beginning the Vans Warped Tour has been a staple of our schedule, allowing us to reach more than 1.5 million teens every summer with messages about tobacco and the tobacco industry as well as truth-branded T-shirts, hats, bandanas and more. 

For several years now we’ve also worked with Vans to bring an aspect of positive change to their Custom Culture competition. The contest harnesses the creativity of high school students and rewards their artistic self-expression. truthchallenges them to customize a blank skateboard deck with a truth campaign-inspired illustration. truth awards the winning students’ design with $10,000 grant to support their school’s arts programs.

Our most ambitious partnership to date with Vans is a series of co-branded shoe and apparel sets that debuted in 2014. The custom designs, like 2015’s “Weapons of Mass Ridiculousness,” incorporate key messages from the truth campaign in ways youth want to wear and share them. They are for sale at and in select Vans retail locations. A portion of the proceeds comes back to support Truth Initiative’s programs to speak, seek and spread the truth about tobacco.

“What we can do in collaboration with brands like Vans is limited only by creativity: events, sponsorships, marketing partnerships, product integrations, promotions, licensing and more,” said Michael Cohen, vice president of corporate partnerships at Truth Initiative. “Ending tobacco in this generation requires creativity and innovation to connect with today’s teens. Forming alliances with the right collection of partner brands who want to reach and reward that audience ensures our mutual success.”