Rhode Island Department of Health

Youth Focus Groups


As part of an ongoing effort to restrict youth access to tobacco products and reduce initiation to using them, the Rhode Island Department of Health enlisted our help to develop a targeted social marketing campaign. We developed the overall strategy and messaging for the campaign, and conducted a series of focus groups to understand the behaviors and attitudes of high-risk youths and determine the best creative approach and messaging.


We developed several initial campaign concepts which were informed by competitive research and teen tobacco use data, and then we conducted two focus groups with sub-segments of the youth population to determine patterns in their preferences and knowledge of tobacco. Using results from the focus group findings, we developed an innovative messaging platform to make teens aware of how tobacco companies target them, and encouraged them to make their own decisions going forward. The campaign included strategically placed outdoor advertisements, television and radio media placements, Facebook advertising, and a Facebook page with a robust editorial calendar to engage target audiences. Results of the campaign were tracked over time with a mix of social analytics and traditional media metrics.