207855 Counter-engineering tobacco marketing strategies targeting young adult Hipsters

Monday, November 9, 2009: 11:06 AM

Pamela Ling, MD, MPH , Division of General Internal Medicine, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Jeff Jordan, MA , Rescue Social Change Group, San Diego, CA
Significance: Tobacco marketers used “psychographic” characteristics (general attitudes, social groups, activities) to develop targeted advertising for socio-cultural groups of young adults. These psychographic measures can also be used to develop strategically targeted tobacco control interventions.

Objective: Identify a high risk subgroup of young adults (18-26 years old) in San Diego and develop a counter-marketing intervention to decrease tobacco use.

Methods: Venue date time sampling was used to identify a baseline random sample of 1198 attendees at “Hipster” bars and clubs in San Diego. We measured socio-cultural group affiliations, attitudes about smoking, social norms, and past 30-day smoking prevalence. Key informant interviews further detailed Hipster cultural values. A second random cross-sectional sample of 1200 surveys was collected in October-January 2009 after implementation.

Results: Hipsters had a high smoking prevalence at baseline, with 55.9% past 30-day smokers, and 28.3% regular (20 of past 30 days) smokers. A social branding intervention was developed which included a smokefree brand tailored to Hipster values, bar and club events, utilizing peer leaders as brand ambassadors, local promotional activities, targeted anti-tobacco industry messaging, and providing social support for smoking cessation. The intervention changes the perception that smoking is a natural part of the Hipster subculture, with associated changes in attitudes about the tobacco industry, social norms and smoking behavior.

Discussion: A psychographic segmentation strategy adapted from the tobacco industry can be applied to identify a high risk target for tobacco control interventions. Social branding strategies can be used to develop a culturally appropriate tobacco counter-marketing intervention.

Learning Objectives:
1) Discuss the objective and process of psychographic segmentation 2) Describe three elements of a social branding approach to tobacco counter-marketing 3) Discuss two ways tobacco industry marketing strategies can inform public health intervention design and implementation

Keywords: Tobacco Control, Social Marketing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been on the UCSF faculty since 2002, with over 25 peer reviewed publications related to tobacco marketing and young adult smoking. I have given several national and international keynotes and presentations on these topics.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.