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Next Legends Campaign

Next Legends Native Strong Vape Free

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In 2022, FDA is launching “Next Legends” – a tobacco prevention campaign geared toward American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth, ages 12–17. Research has shown AI/AN youth demonstrate higher tobacco prevalence rates as compared to the overall U.S. youth population, and are disproportionately affected by tobacco use, including tobacco-related disease and death. 

The “Next Legends” campaign uses unique branding and tailored messaging specifically for AI/AN youth. Through relatable, actionable, and inclusive campaigns, we can educate AI/AN youth on the harmful effects of tobacco products.

Our Goal: Inspire a new generation of AI/AN teens to live Native strong and vape-free.

Campaign Research

How We Used Research to Develop the “Next Legends” Campaign

As the first large-scale tobacco prevention effort developed for AI/AN youth, extensive research was conducted to learn about our audience and bring their unique perspective to life. 

To form a deep understanding of the mindset, values, and behavior of Native teens, we conducted focus groups and subject matter expert interviews across key geographic concentrations. We also maintained ongoing conversations with Native community members and public health partners during the campaign planning process.

Through research, we learned these key insights about the audience: 

Perceptions and Motivations: 

  • Tobacco use is prevalent and normalized in Native culture and communities, both as a recreational and ceremonial activity.
  • Vaping often starts off as a social activity, often occurring before, after, or even during school.
  • Frequently, use escalates into a stress coping mechanism. 

Information Needs: 

  • Native teens want to know more about the effects of vaping and why they should care. 
  • Native teens appreciate learning something new in ads, such as facts about chemicals and metals, but also want more information about the harms of these substances.

Mindset and Values: 

  • Family, friends, and community have major importance. 
  • Proud of their Native heritage and protective of their roots and identity.
  • Care deeply about respect and doing the right thing.
  • Health is defined as an interconnectedness of Mind, Body, and Spirit.
    • Mind: Mental strength and perseverance.
    • Body: Physical well-being and being capable of doing the things that matter.
    • Spirit: Respect for culture, community, and environment.

Our Approach 

Campaign Ads

Based on our research, we created a campaign that amplifies the regret teens may feel after vaping. Our goal is to help Native teens recognize for themselves that vaping can hold them back from achieving a healthy mind, body, and spirit. 

The campaign ads spotlight AI/AN teens at their most powerful, offering personal declarations of why they refuse to be held back by vaping. 

Trickster Ad

Utilizing storytelling to convey cautionary messages has long been a powerful tool in Native American culture. One such parable is the Trickster: a mythical creature who takes the form of familiar animals, only to shapeshift with the purpose to create confusion and take advantage of unsuspecting people. Trickster spreads deception, so he is the perfect character to fool teens into trying vaping.

Out of Your Control Ad

Most vapes contain addictive levels of nicotine. When the nicotine cravings kick in, they can be all-consuming for teens, taking away their ability to focus on anything besides vaping. This campaign brings to life these uncomfortable, real-life scenarios that illustrate a loss of control to the need to vape.

Media Tactics

The campaign will use a variety of tactics and communication channels aligned with the interests of our Native youth, including: 

  • Local television (Alaska)
  • Traditional radio and Streaming audio
  • Outdoor signage, such as billboards
  • Digital advertising, such as online videos 
  • Social media, such as Instagram and TikTok 
  • Influencers 
  • Campaign website
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