14 Dec 2015

Anti-smoking campaign taps into social media

8:18 pm on 14 December 2015

A new 'stop smoking' campaign using Snapchat has generated hundreds of artworks.

Snapped Out, led by Counties Manukau Health, is New Zealand's first anti-smoking campaign using Snapchat. It has received 500 pieces of user-generated artwork.

Snapped Out has received 500 pieces of user-generated anti-smoking artwork. Photo: RNZ / Shannon Haunui-Thompson

Snapped Out, led by Counties Manukau Health, is New Zealand's first anti-smoking campaign using the social media app.

The project is an interactive campaign that asks people to stop, think and create artwork about the impact of smoking in their community.

It focusses on high-risk youth in South Auckland and, using Snapchat and Facebook, encourages followers to stop smoking by creating digital artwork using Snapchat.

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The winning Snapchat artwork Photo: RNZ / Shannon Haunui-Thompson

Counties Manukau Health manager Summer Hawke said market research showed existing campaigns were not working.

"It said we had very boring services, and very boring and unappealing health promotion messages, and materials and rangatahi wanted to be contacted through social media and marketing campaigns."

After a creative session with a social media company, they came up with the concept of Snapped Out.

"The game was snap your friends smoking, take a photo and use Snapchat to photo bomb their faces, and use this as an art project for rangatahi or anyone in our community to stop and think about the impact of smoking in our community," Ms Hawke said.

Over six weeks, the campaign gathered over 3000 engaged followers across both Snapchat and Facebook, and received 500 pieces of user-generated artwork.

"Some of the messaging that has come through is 'smoking not our future', people have added and been creative of some of the messages that they want to tag with their photos." Ms Hawke said.

The winning picture, snapped by Lyssa Moka, featured her husband - drawn as a joker character from a pack of cards. The tag line was 'don't look like a joker an' be smoker'.

Ms Hawke said this was the way to engage and interact with rangatahi, but more analysis of the project was needed to see whether it actually got people to quit.

"Now what we want to do is look through all our data sources and see if there is any correlation or attribution to engagement with 'stop smoking' services, or with the health system - and trying to make a correlation between quit attempts and seeing if this project drove this as well."

An exhibition of 180 snaps is being held at the Mangere Arts Centre until 23 December.