Washington, D.C.; August 30, 2012 - Fending off monsters, upgrading your hunting tools and saving civilization are just some of the challenges gamers will find through playing a new mobile game title, Flavor Monsters. truth ®, the nation's largest youth smoking prevention campaign, is launching Flavor Monsters as another way for the campaign to reach teens and young people. Flavor Monsters will be available for free download on select Apple and Android devices, as part of a comprehensive campaign encompassing touring, media integrations, gear and products.
truth has offered games on the campaign website ( www.thetruth.com) since 2006 as a way to highlight tobacco-related information to teens in a fun and engaging way. With the launch of its second mobile game title, truth is continuing to evolve and connect with teens through their 'passions' - using entertainment channels like gaming, music and sports to continue a conversation with teens around the issue of tobacco use.
Teens are increasingly looking to games for fun and entertainment. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation's January 2010 report - GENERATION M 2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds - young people spend 17 minutes per day playing video games on the computer.
" truth has always been on the cutting edge, connecting with teens where they naturally gather and through activities they enjoy and common experiences they share with their friends and peers," said Cheryl G. Healton, DrPH, president and CEO of Legacy ®, the national public health foundation that directs and funds the truth campaign. "With the launch of Flavor Monsters, truth'sfun and educational message can be carried with teens wherever they go through their mobile devices."
The game builds on the recent " Unsweetened truth" campaign. That campaign, launched in March 2011, highlighted the many different flavorings - more than 45 - found in tobacco products. Although most flavors are banned for use in cigarettes, tobacco companies still use them in many other tobacco products, some of which closely resemble cigarettes or mints.
The game will transport users into a not-too-distant future where " Flavor Monsters" are attacking Earth. The " Flavor Monsters" are creatures that represent the added flavorings in tobacco. Players will work to defeat these monsters, thereby stopping the monster invasion. The game will feature multiple skill levels, each of which will feature a different series of colorful, flavored monsters to be defeated. An accompanying field manual contains data on all the monsters, along with relevant tobacco-related facts, and details on the tools that can be used to defeat the monsters.
To round out the user experience, truth embarked on its first ever gaming tour this August, in an effort to connect the Flavor Monsters game experience to gamers in a tangible, interactive way. At each stop, truth's crew of young adult "tour riders" will speak directly with teens and young adults - educating them about the marketing tactics of the tobacco industry and the health effects, addictiveness and social consequences of tobacco. At gaming conventions, an interactive booth called "45 Flavors" will allow attendees to play the game onsite, get their picture taken with a Flavor Monster, both sample and buy truth-related gear and products, and take part in a special video virtual simulation that will give attendees the experience of being part of the actual Flavor Monsters game. All of the activities around the booth experience are geared toward 'recruiting' future monster hunters, and educating people about flavor monsters, as a way to reinforce messaging about the tobacco industry's use of flavorings in tobacco products.
"The launch of the mobile game and the corresponding gaming tour is just part of a comprehensive ' Flavor Monsters' experience where we will be connecting with teens and young people through a number of communications 'touch points" said Eric Asche, Chief Marketing Officer of Legacy. "Branded entertainment, new gear and a 'real-life' game experience are all tools we are using to bring the game to life for users and to reach teens in as many ways possible with our important information about tobacco use."
GAME SPECS :
The game is available for free download on iOS 4+ and most Android 2.2+ devices. Users must connect to wifi to download the game.
- For iOS 4+: iPhone 4+, iTouch 4TH Generation, iPad 2+ or better.
- For Android: Version 2.2 & 4 and devices with higher level chipset (Snapdragon 2 and/or Tegra 2 or similar quality chips).
- The game engine was built on Unity 3D platform.
BRANDED ENTERTAINMENT :
Syfy channel integration: As part of the multifaceted approach to evolve the Flavor Monsters experience, truth is working with the Syfy channel - an American cable television channel featuring science fiction, supernatural, fantasy, reality, paranormal, wrestling, and horror programming - to create a human version of a "flavor monster." For the reality show Face Off, contestant and special effects consultant Rod Maxwell brought to life the "Strawberry Flavor Monster." An accomplished, self-taught special effects artist and director, Rod transformed truth tour rider/manager Edwin Contreras into the "Strawberry Flavor Monster" as part of a custom vignette. The piece will air on Syfy TV, beginning with promos running September 4.
Online Webisodes: A series of short webisodes around the game will add additional context to the game. Webisodes will be available online at youtube.com/thetruthgames, thetruth.com/games and will be shown at each of the tour stops along the gaming tour. The webisodes are being produced in partnership with Ingenuity Engine, a Hollywood-based, artist-driven and owned visual effects studio.
A Flavor Monsters cinema trailer will run August 24 through September 20. A cinema slide will also appear in static announcements running before 'coming attractions', and Flavor Monsters-themed posters will be on display in select cinema lobbies.
WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA :
As with every truth experience or initiative, a heavy online and interactive presence extends truth's messages and allows teens to share information with their friends and peers organically. Social media and interactive efforts around the Flavor Monsters initiative include:
- Website - http://www.thetruth.com/games/ serves as the main website for all truth gaming-related initiatives. Users can see videos related to Flavor Monsters, download posters, check the truth game tour schedule, and play classic truth online games.
- Video integrations and original
truth content will play on thetruth.com and be
available at branded
truth social sites for teens and young adults to
view and share, including:
- Twitter: twitter.com/thetruthgames
- Facebook: facebook.com/truthgames
- YouTube: youtube.com/thetruthgames
- Instagram: #flavormonsters
- Tickets contest: For those not planning to attend a gaming convention, gamers can still win tickets to see truth on tour by visiting: https://www.facebook.com/truthorange/app_220730828029504. Each entry makes users eligible to win a grand prize - a VIP weekend at New York Comic Con 2012.
In conjunction with Zoom Media, starting on August 24, Flavor Monsters-themed murals will be painted over a series of weeks with each new installment building on the previous artwork. Murals will be located in San Francisco, Chicago and New York City. QR codes painted on the murals will link viewers to Flavor Monsters webisodes and the game itself.
MEDIA BUY DETAILS :
Advertising elements related to Flavor Monsters will run on websites, cable channels, and online properties popular with teens and gamers, including:
Advertising will run from Monday, August 27 through Wednesday, October 31.
truth GAMING TOUR BACKGROUND :
A special Flavor Monsters installation, called "45 Flavors," created just for the gaming tour, offers visitors an interactive experience where they can play the game, learn more about tobacco flavors and additives, and 'install' themselves in a video experience reminiscent of the actual game play.
The iconic orange " truth truck" will also take on a new look for the gaming tour. The truck will be branded with artwork from the Flavor Monsters game. At the truck, attendees will be able to play the game on iPads. One of the iPads' gameplay will project on to a screen for others to watch.
Stops will include:
- Various Six Flags amusement parks: California, Texas, Illinois, Missouri, Georgia, Massachusetts and New Jersey
- Gen Con in Indianapolis
- Dragon*Con in Atlanta
- Baltimore Comic-Con
- Mid-Ohio Comic Con
- New York Comic Con
Tour Riders 2012: Hometown: Personal Detail:
Andrea de Melo Fall River, Mass Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese
Phillip Gonzalez Fontana, Calif. Worked as an extra on TV shows, and as a tour manager and product specialist at trade shows
April Fletcher Los Angeles Worked as a promoter for video games at gaming conventions
Zach Rogers Atlanta Student at Tennessee State University
Paul Lameiro Miami Fluent in Spanish and French
Tanya Lopez-Martin Austin, Texas Graduate of The University of Texas
Marisa Jackson Madison, Indiana Music business major
Stephanie Castanos Cranston, Rhode Island Artist and filmmaker
TOYS AND COLLECTIBLES :
In conjunction with the release of Flavor Monsters, truth has partnered with Luke Rook of Lulubell Toy Bodega to develop a line of "flavor monster" vinyl toys. Collectibles are popular items with gamers and at gaming conventions; the toys will be available at stops during the gaming tour. Best known for his 'Grody Shogun' line of toys, Luke is a well-known toy designer who designs, sculpts and paints toys out of his Arizona studio and toy store.
At Dragon*Con, truth has partnered with Jordu Schell, a creature and character designer with more than 23 years' experience in the film, television, toy and video gaming industries, to design 'flavor monster' clay figures that will be given away to lucky winners. In addition, Jordu will be placed in the Con's horror track, where he will sculpt as many mini 'flavor monsters' out of wet clay as possible.
At each stop along the gaming tour, the truth tour riders will be handing out branded truth gear to coincide with the release of Flavor Monsters and the gaming tour, several specialty items were created, including: video game controller wristbands, a "PWN NOOBS" shirt (gaming slang for defeating new players in a game), shorts, and Flavor Monsters flip t-shirts, where users get a surprise when they turn the t-shirts inside out.
CREATIVE CREDITS :
The Flavor Monsters concept and campaign, including webisodes, online advertising, social media, murals and tour experience, were produced by Legacy in partnership with Arnold Worldwide of Boston, the longtime agency of record for the truth campaign.
ONLINE NEWSROOM :
Media can access background information on the Flavor Monsters initiative, including videos, photos and other creative assets at: www.insideflavormonsters.com.
BACKGROUND ON THE truthCAMPAIGN :
truth ®, launched in February 2000, is the largest national youth smoking prevention campaign and the only national campaign not directed by the tobacco industry. The campaign exposes the tactics of the tobacco industry, the truth about addiction, and the health effects and social consequences of smoking. truth allows teens to make informed choices about tobacco use by giving them the facts about the industry and its products.
truth ® is the largest national youth smoking prevention campaign and the only national campaign not directed by the tobacco industry. The campaign exposes the tactics of the tobacco industry, the truth about addiction, and the health effects and social consequences of smoking. truth gives teens facts and information about the tobacco industry and its products, allowing them to make their own informed choices about tobacco use. Research-proven as an effective public health intervention, the campaign is credited with keeping hundreds of thousands of teens from starting to smoke. To learn more, visit www.thetruth.com . truth is directed and funded by Legacy, a national public health foundation located in Washington, D.C. Legacy was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about Legacy's life-saving programs, visit www.LegacyForHealth.org .
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