Flash features ignite society's 'SmokeOut'

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Inspired by its award-winning "Great American Eat Right Challenge," the American Cancer Society aims to produce similar results with its "Great American SmokeOut" next month.

The nonprofit is enhancing its Web site to initiate search engine marketing and an e-mail and banner ad campaign.

"We are focusing on looking at user goals," said Adam Pellegrini, strategic director for online at American Cancer Society, Atlanta. "We will then focus all of our own user build-out on meeting them."

IQ Interactive, Atlanta, is handling this interactive effort for the society.

There will be three interactive marketing channels at www.cancer.org, with the most important role played by the Internet application that gets users involved with cancer prevention. Health products proven to reduce the risk of cancer also are featured.

"We wanted to somehow make the process exciting for the user," Mr. Pellegrini said. "And Flash was the medium to do it with."

With the prevention segment, the site gives information on nutrition, reducing obesity and quitting smoking.

The society debuts the Great American SmokeOut next month. Users can set a quit date online and will be sent reminders via the Internet, telephone, text messages or direct mail.

"The basis of developing these Flash applications was to send out the reminder e-cards and then to get people to keep coming back to the site," Mr. Pellegrini said.

The society also is focusing on what it calls its Web 2.0 concept. This includes online quizzes, classes, a personal planner and the reminder system.

The nonprofit also used an outbound telemarketing service as an assisting help line.

"Our marketing strategy was to have the user's goals match up with our organization's goals, so we could develop the online applications," Mr. Pellegrini said. "The SmokeOut really encompasses that."

The new design took four years of testing.

"The graphics and aesthetics were critical, as was making sure that everyone was in sync," he said. "If people see value from the organization's mission perspective, then they know where to donate."

The Web site also will feature a blog where visitors can share their quitting experiences and an online community social network.

"They know our brand and our logo and therefore have the desire to link what we do with who we are," Mr. Pellegrini said. "This will let people see what we do for our mission online."

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