CategoryB01. Education & Awareness (incl. Fundraising and Advocacy)


Name Company Position
Sue Jang FleishmanHillard Korea Senior Account Manager

The Campaign

The Fingerband - a symbol of teen identity We took a classic symbol of teen identity, the wristband, and twisted it into a far more powerful statement and created a world first – the FINGERBAND, for teens to show to others fingers that would never hold a cigarette again. The Fingerband became a visible ‘fashion statement’ and a teen icon against smoking. Using social media on mobile, channels used every day by Korean teens, we promoted the Fingerband through Facebook, inviting teens to share content, post their own photos and sending 200,000 free Fingerbands to fans who tagged two or more friends. We took the idea into ‘snackable’ online content by featuring the Fingerband in a webtoon and webdrama, collaborating with a popular webtoon artist to reach out to teens through a story about the temptations and conflicts teens face everyday.

Creative Execution

Using Facebook as the core campaign platform, participants were invited to share content by tagging friends. Those who tagged two or more friends were sent free Fingerbands. Collaborating with a popular webtoon-ist, we created a webtoon series, and developed an online ‘webdrama’ starring a real-life Korean idol, that told stories about teenagers facing the temptations of smoking and peer pressures in daily life. The Fingerband, along with campaign banners, were integrated into the content and the characters invited participation in the campaign. We promoted the campaign across various online/mobile/social platforms, including Facebook, a fashion website and Naver. We also formed a partnership with Aboki, a popular teen fashion brand, and persuaded them to feature the Fingerband in their brand campaign commercials. Executed from July to December 2015, the campaign reached 284,000+ teens, who in turn influenced their friends and peer groups.

The webtoon achieved 47 million+ page views on Naver, the second highest ever for a branded webtoon, with 14 thousand+ comments, and 9.89/10 review rate. The webdrama recorded 443,000+ views on NAVER TV Cast. 284,000 participated in the campaign with 200,000 Fingerbands distributed, with viral sharing generating exposure beyond this. The campaign generated coverage in more than 218 media. The Fingerband helped reduce smoking rates in Korea by 15% for boys and 20% for girls (‘2015 Teenagers Health Online Report’). According to the Health Plan 2020 set in 2011, the Korean government aimed to reduce boys’ smoking rates to 12% by 2020, which with the help of the Fingerband was achieved 5 years earlier in 2015 reaching 11.9%. Fingerband also helped change the teen peer culture as teens commented in social media, “Now I can hang out with friends and not be made fun of, even if I don’t smoke.”

Fingerband was no traditional anti-smoking campaign that preached the health and anti-social issues associated with smoking. Korean teen smoking rates already proved that these do not work. Fingerband represented an entirely new and unique approach, based on the proposition to make teens feel it was cool NOT to smoke. As an integrated online-to-offline campaign, Fingerband leveraged social on mobile to reach its audience and to amplify through social sharing. But the real creativity came in the simplest of ideas – the simple twist of a wristband into a symbol that showed fingers that would never smoke or smoke again.

Research showed that 97% of Korean teens own smartphones and that snackable, visual, fun, sharable content was most effective (KISDI, 2014). We also discovered that teens are highly influenced by their peer group, with 25% of teens being introduced to smoking by their friends. Our strategy was to reach out to teen smokers, as well as their influential peers, to deliver a message through social on mobile and create an environment in which teens could feel it was OK, in fact cool, NOT to smoke. The Fingerband was at the centre of this strategy, engaging teens by creating an online to offline cycle. Teens who tagged two or more friends were sent a free Fingerband, which they then shared images of online, creating a powerful viral effect. Our strategy extended the Fingerband into snackable online content that included webtoon and webdrama, leveraging social on mobile to reach the teen audience.


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