Monday, 9 September 2013

Stoptober: It's like October but without the cigarettes

Stoptober, the UK campaign to encourage smokers to quit for 28 days, will launch on 1 October. The campaign targets the estimated 8 million UK consumers who currently smoke. From a consumer behaviour perspective, smokers who give up tobacco for four weeks are five times more likely to permanently quit than smokers who quit for only a few days.

As a result, the Stoptober campaign isn't just informational--it invites smokers to change their behaviour by quitting for 28 days, during which they can draw strength from other participants.

In 2012, 160,000 people joined the campaign. What happened? Although not everyone completed the 28-day challenge, Devon's experience was very positive: the number of quitters increased by 15% during the second half of the year.

For 2013, the Stoptober campaign will be bigger and better, with more ways for participants to receive info and support. Traditional media such as radio and TV will introduce the campaign to the public and build interest. Involvement techniques include social media messages, mobile apps, text messages, e-mails, online videos, special events and local activities. Several websites will provide detailed info, tools for support and even stress-busting music.

Last year, celebrities such as former England player Ian Wright, Apprentice contestant Kate Walsh and make-up artist Gary Cockerill all put their fame to work encouraging smokers to quit for 28 days. Opinion leaders will do the same this year, in mass media and digital media.

The Stoptober Twitter account already has more than 10,000 followers. Tweets with hashtags such as #stoptober are building anticipation and participation. The NHS Smokefree Stoptober Facebook page, with 167,000 likes, is also active. Pinterest fans can browse pinned images on the Stoptober Pinterest account. And of course, YouTube videos are part of the marketing plan, as well. Watch for more messages throughout the month of Stoptober.