truth truck rolls out for 18th summer of inspiring youth to end tobacco use
Successful campaigns depend on a combination of online and offline engagement strategies. Case in point: truth® ads that air during televised pop culture events create a lot of buzz about ending tobacco use, but the campaign doesn’t just appear on television. truth can also be seen at big events in a bright orange truck.
Each summer since 2000—when 23 percent of U.S. teens smoked cigarettes—truth has recruited teams of young people to tour the country and make stops at popular entertainment, music and sports events as part of its efforts to inspire youth to be the generation to end smoking.
Today, the country has a record low youth smoking rate of 6 percent—but the fight against Big Tobacco is far from over. Tobacco is not an equal opportunity killer. For decades, African-Americans, low-income neighborhoods, LGBTQ communities and those with mental illness have been disproportionately affected by tobacco use—a result of profiling by the tobacco industry. To educate youth about the exploitation of certain populations and encourage them to take action, this year truth and its crew of tour riders are on the road again for the 18th consecutive summer.
From June to September truth is hitting more than 40 stops on the annual Vans Warped Tour, a summer music festival that presents both upcoming and well-established punk rock bands. Each tour stop will feature the signature orange truth truck, rigged with a DJ booth and a dance floor. Tour riders offer games, live music, contests and giveaways—all while encouraging concertgoers to become “Finishers” by joining the movement to make tobacco a thing of the past.
"By engaging with audiences on the Vans Warped Tour, we're building the movement of Finishers nationwide," said Josh Barna, truth tour manager. "To us, Finishers are the individuals making an impact on tobacco use within their own networks. Big or small, every action counts—from enlisting online, to wearing truth merchandise and sharing the facts with friends."
Meet this year’s roster of truth tour riders and find out why they became one:
truth has worked with Vans for many years, participating not only on the Vans Warped Tour, but also collaborating on a series of co-branded shoes and apparel, and challenging high school students to enter the Vans Custom Culture competition by customizing a skateboard deck with an illustration inspired by truth and a tobacco fact.
The Vans Warped Tour is also one of many in-person experiences that allows truth to have direct conversations about tobacco with youth and young adults and empower collective action. truth has also come to life at the East Coast Surfing Championship, the music and arts festival High School Nation, schools going smoke- or tobacco-free and more.