truth® Grabs Air on new Hulu Spotlight Series My Side of the Sky Highlights truth as Skate Contest Partner


WASHINGTON, March 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the Winter Olympics piquing interest in snow sports like snowboarding and extreme skiing, the nation's largest youth smoking prevention campaign is helping extend important health-related messages among teens with My Side of the Sky, a new Hulu Spotlight series available now on Hulu and Hulu Plus.  My Side of the Sky tells the real-life stories of six teenagers who attend Windells Academy in Oregon, a boarding school where skaters, skiers and snowboarders go to live, learn & prepare for careers in extreme sports.

Through the six-episode arc, truth will be highlighted in two episodes.  In the most prominent subplot, truth partners with Windells Academy to help bring the first skate competition of the year – "Battle Out Back" -- to the school, drawing 80 skaters from across Oregon and Washington to compete. Prior to the skate contest, truth tour manager, Eddie introduces the Windells students to truth and invites them to team up with him and truth's tour riders to spread truth's life-saving message at Battle Out Back. On event day, truth-branded banners hang prominently on the walls on the skate park and the iconic orange truth truck -- which travels the country each summer greeting teens at popular music and sporting events – is parked at the entrance of the event along with the team of passionate tour riders. truth tour rider Cody, hosts the "six-second challenge," a skateboarding contest where students land as many tricks as possible in six seconds. With Windells student Gavin as the MC, the challenge was inspired by the fact that someone in the world dies every six seconds from a tobacco-related disease.

"Rather than just serving up messages, it's always been our philosophy to reach teens and young people naturally through their avowed 'passion points' – pursuits like music, fashion, sports and gaming – that bind teens together and reflects how they spend their time and where they gather with friends," said Eric Asche, Chief Marketing Officer at Legacy, the national public health foundation that directs and funds the truth campaign. "Partnering with My Side of the Sky and the Windells Academy was another way for us to engage teens in the tobacco conversation, rather than preaching to them."

"The truth mission, message and authenticity with our core audience was a natural fit for My Side of the Sky. As a partner, truth embraced the fact that this is more than just media, this is great storytelling that results in a hugely positive entertainment experience for audiences, as well as Windells Academy and the skate community of Oregon," said Bryan Thoensen, head of brand content at Hulu.

In addition to the skate competition that truth brought to the academy, four truth-branded behind-the-scenes videos will delve further into characters and stories affiliated with the unique school. Testimonials will feature select students, plus Wally, a chef at the school and a skating legend in his own right. Each of the videos gives personal insights in to what the academy and action sports mean to students and staff that live and study at the academy. All the videos will be featured on the My Side of the Sky show page and will be promoted through truth's Facebook and Twitter accounts to further extend the conversation online.

My Side of the Sky viewers will also be able to further engage with truth's most recent campaign execution. The "ugly truth" campaign launched last spring and continued throughout 2013 with a heavy online and digital presence. The campaign asks teens to weigh the gravity of two different tobacco facts, and decide "What's the ugliest truth?" Spots will air throughout My Side of the Sky episodes, encouraging viewers to visit in order to vote for which tobacco fact they deem to be the ugliest.

My Side of the Sky extends a number of truth-related ventures into the world of skateboarding and snowboarding. In the past, truth partnered with skateboarding legend Tony Hawk as a part of his Boom Boom Huck Jam, and has also been a sponsor of a number of other Tony Hawk-related skateboarding tours. truth also enjoys a longtime partnership with action sports footwear company Vans, sponsoring events like the Warped Tour, the US Open of Surfing, and adding a skateboard design element to the Vans' Custom Culture competition -- Vans' popular nationwide shoe design contest for high school students.

In the United States, more than 88% of adult smokers start smoking by age 18. Each year, more than 400,000 Americans die from tobacco-related diseases. The truth campaign aims to keep young people from ever trying to smoke in the first place. By integrating with events and programming that teens are already interested in, truth is able to present the facts about tobacco use to teens and allow them to make their own informed decisions about tobacco use.

New episodes of My Side of the Sky air every Thursday on Hulu and Hulu Plus. For more information, please visit the official show page here:

truth Background 

truth is a multidimensional campaign, featuring advertising, websites, grassroots outreach through summer tours and interactive elements, and events. A growing body of research has confirmed the efficacy of the truth campaign in changing teens' attitudes and behaviors toward smoking. A study published in the May 2009 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) found that truth was directly responsible for keeping 450,000 teens from starting to smoke during its first four years, from 2000 to 2004. A second paper in that same publication found that the campaign not only paid for itself in its first two years but also saved roughly $1.9 billion and possibly up to $5.4 billion in medical care costs to society.

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