Short Message Service (SMS) is a growing market and the most widely used data application in world accounting to more than 5 billion active users. In Sri Lanka, there are more than 10 million mobile phone users island wide. But this technology has not been used by any other organization in the field of alcohol and other drug prevention.

Therefore in the year 2008 ADIC organized the SMS Competition with the primary objective to deglamourize the image of smoking among Sri Lankans at large. The ‘April First SMS Competition’ was organized for the fourth consecutive time, this year.

The messagecommunicated through the campaign was the “Connection between April 1st and the people who still smoke”. We received continuous support from World Health Organization and many media organizations in Sri Lanka

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Radio Morning Show- SMS Campaign
Morning shows are the cornerstone and foundation of a popular radio station. Doing a morning show is demanding and requires talent, innovation, and a strong commitment. In the year of 2012 four main radio stations joined us in order to make this campaign a success.

The listeners were asked to reply the question–“Why do those who still smoke get wished for their Birthdays on the 1st of April?”, by sending an SMS to the proposed short code or number of the particular radio station on 30th Of March, 31st of March and 1st of April. Three lucky winners were selected from each radio station on all three days and were gifted with mobile phones.
TV Advertising Campaign
Birthday greeting advertisements for people who ‘still smoke’ were advertised on 5 TV channels for free of chargeon 1st of April.

Newspaper Advertisements

SMS Competition advertisements were published in quarter half size and full size pages in 17 main newspapers in Sinhala/ Tamil and English languages.Poster Campaigns
Two main poster campaigns were conducted to promote the competition. A pre poster campaign was conducted on 25th of March to raise attraction to the main campaign. The main poster campaign was conducted on the 31st of March. Attractive posters exhibiting birthday greetings for people who still smoke were displayed in places where most people gather on the 1st of April.

Fax Campaign
Fax campaign was another innovative and new way to promote the competition. Fax messages were sent to 300 most reputed companies of Sri Lanka on 29th of March, as 1st of April was a Sunday and many organizations were closed. The fax delivered the message “Do not forget to wish happy birthday to the few who still smoke in your organization”.

Birthday structure and digital banner Campaigns
Eye-catching structures displaying birthday messages, designed by the ADIC team were exhibited at public places in main towns to convey the message to people. The digital banners were also displayed in public places to promote the event more effectively.

Public addressing system
Public addressing system using cassette recordings which included birthday messages was another method use to promote the campaign. This was conducted at public places in many districts, promoting the event and conveying the message to a larger crowd successfully.

Birthday Card CampaignsThe
Birthday Card campaigns were conducted island wide as pre birthday card campaign and main birthday card campaign.  The pre birthday card campaign was conducted on 30th of March conveying the message “Do not forget to wish happy birthday to the few who still smoke.” The main birthday card campaign was conducted on the 1st of April. Birthday Cards expressing greetings and prevention slogans were distributed among people. Leaflet campaigns were conducted in all 25 districts in Sri Lanka.
Face book/ social entertainment sites and email campaigns
An internet campaign was conducted on 1st of April to convey the message and promote the event. Face book, social entertainment sites and emails are cost effective tools which were used in the internet campaign. Many popular groups uploaded wall posts and video clips conveying birthday wishes on Face book reaching 10,000 direct viewers.

Wall posts and cards expressing birthday wishes were uploaded in social network sites reaching direct viewers.

Emails were also sent reaching more than 10,000 direct viewers.

Online advertisements
An advertisement was publicized on the most popular news/ gossip site of Sri Lanka –to convey the message to a larger population.