Stoptober: A radical new way to get England to quit smoking

IPA Effectiveness Awards Case Study 2016


Stoptober is a public health intervention created through marketing. It has been used to save thousands of lives in England and been adopted by clinicians internationally. Every October for four years the initiative challenged smokers to quit for 28 consecutive days from October 1, with the evidence-based promise that if they made it the whole way through, they would be five times more likely to quit forever. The campaign provided tools and messages to mobilise ‘a herd’ effect more typically seen in January when people start new health regimes. This case study provides evidence that Stoptober grew in impact - with 65,000 more quitters in year four than year one - and a total 1.5m quit attempts driven by the communications. The short-term ROMI was estimated at £2.85 for every £1 invested.

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“Stoptober’ has re-written the rule book on what works. It demonstrated the power of combining behavioral economics principles with marketing communications. Not only is it highly effective in triggering quit attempts, but it is endorsed by clinicians and academics. It has galvanized local authorities, and is now established in the public health calendar both in England and abroad.”

Matthew Walmsley, Deputy Director Planning and Insight
Public Health England

Winners 2016

Gold Winner

Title

Stoptober: A radical new way to get England to quit smoking

Brand

Stoptober

Client

Public Health England

Agency

23red
MEC London

Principal Authors

  • Jo Arden - 23red
  • Pete Buckley - MEC
  • Nick Hirst - adamandeveDDB, formerly Dare
  • Dr Nigel Shardlow - Sandtable
  • Matthew Walmsley - Public Health England

Contributing Authors

  • Gemma Cass - TNS BRMB
  • Annie Hau - Sandtable

Credited Companies

  • 23red - Creative Agency
  • Dare - Creative Agency
  • EMO - Integrated Agency
  • Freuds - PR Agency
  • M4C - Media
  • NOW - Creative Agency
  • OgilvyOne - Integrated
  • Sandtable - Econometrics
  • TNS BRMB - Research
  • MEC London - Communications Planning
  • Carat - Media Agency
  • M&C Saatchi - Creative Agency
  • iris - Creative Agency

The success of this case was largely down to the clear behavioural insights and objectives. I really feel that this has life after the campaign has finished. Andrew Geohegan, Diageo

Shortlist 2016

Gold Winner

Title

Stoptober: A radical new way to get England to quit smoking

Brand

Stoptober

Client

Public Health England

Agency

23red

Principal Authors

  • Jo Arden - 23red
  • Pete Buckley - MEC
  • Nick Hirst - adamandeveDDB, formerly Dare
  • Dr Nigel Shardlow - Sandtable
  • Matthew Walmsley - Public Health England

Contributing Authors

  • Gemma Cass - TNS BRMB
  • Annie Hau - Sandtable

Credited Companies

  • 23red - Creative Agency
  • Dare - Creative Agency
  • EMO - Integrated Agency
  • Freuds - PR Agency
  • M4C - Media
  • NOW - Creative Agency
  • OgilvyOne - Integrated
  • Sandtable - Econometrics
  • TNS BRMB - Research
  • MEC London - Communications Planning
  • Carat - Media Agency
  • M&C Saatchi - Creative Agency
  • iris - Creative Agency

The success of this case was largely down to the clear behavioural insights and objectives. I really feel that this has life after the campaign has finished. Andrew Geohegan, Diageo

Stoptober: A radical new way to get England to quit smoking

IPA Effectiveness Awards Case Study 2016


Stoptober is a public health intervention created through marketing. It has been used to save thousands of lives in England and been adopted by clinicians internationally. Every October for four years the initiative challenged smokers to quit for 28 consecutive days from October 1, with the evidence-based promise that if they made it the whole way through, they would be five times more likely to quit forever. The campaign provided tools and messages to mobilise ‘a herd’ effect more typically seen in January when people start new health regimes. This case study provides evidence that Stoptober grew in impact - with 65,000 more quitters in year four than year one - and a total 1.5m quit attempts driven by the communications. The short-term ROMI was estimated at £2.85 for every £1 invested.

Click to purchase this case study >