An innovative campaign with gaming influencers and content creators (#RIProken) proves to be a successful formula to prevent youngsters from smoking
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Kom op tegen Kanker, Stand up to Cancer Flanders, Brussels, Belgium
Publication date: 2023-04-25
Corresponding author
Veerle Maes   

Kom op tegen Kanker, Stand up to Cancer Flanders, Brussels, Belgium
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement):A137
In recent decades, the number of young people that smoke has decreased in Flanders. Nevertheless, still 5,5% of the 12-18 year olds smokes regularly. This number is significantly higher (16,3%) among youngsters in vocational education. Efforts to prevent adolescents from smoking remain essential. However, these youngsters are hard to reach with traditional awareness campaigns. That is the reason why we develop campaigns that run on their most popular (social) media platforms. In order to do so, we did qualitative research on the (social) media consumption of youngsters in vocational education, developed a creative concept, tested this concept in the target group and launched two consecutive campaigns.

Material and Methods:
1) launching of the #RIProken campaign 2021 (roken=smoking); 2) evaluation, adjustment and launching of the second edition (2022); 3) evaluation of the campaign by the target group.

During the #RIProken campaign, Flemish gaming influencers and content creators disseminated messages on the negative consequences of smoking using their own creativity and social media channels. Evaluation revealed that the 2021 campaign was well perceived and reached 16% of the target group. Aiming for a higher impact in 2022, we opted for a different and more accurate selection of influencers, introduced several extra features such as a #RIProken Parkour run in the popular Fortnite game and introduced #RIProken at GameForce, a popular gaming event. Our evaluation showed that the second edition reached twice as many youngsters in the target group. More importantly, 66% of the target group reported that these type of campaigns can convince youngsters not to start smoking.

Gaming and gaming influencers are a proven medium to reach and convince youngsters to stay away from smoking. To increase the impact evaluation, adjustment and most likely also repetition of the campaign are key.

The authors declare not to have any conflict of interest.
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