The Minnesota Department of Health requests proposals for a contractor to develop and manage a brand identity for new statewide tobacco cessation services, as well as a promotional campaign to raise awareness of the new services and encourage its use among Minnesotans who use tobacco products

MDH’s cessation services will replace QUITPLAN® Services, the statewide cessation services that are currently funded and administered by ClearWay MinnesotaSM, an independent nonprofit organization funded with three percent of Minnesota’s tobacco settlement. QUITPLAN® Services will stop accepting new enrollees on March 31, 2020 and the new statewide service will begin enrolling participants April 1, 2020. Participants enrolled in QUITPLAN® Services by March 31, 2020 will continue to receive QUITPLAN® Services through June 30, 2020. The currently branded QUITPLAN® Services, as well as the current quitline number 1-888-354-PLAN (7526) and website quitplan.com, will cease to be used after March 31, 2020 and will be replaced by the new MDH cessation services program. MDH plans to utilize the national quitline number 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) and will offer a new online registration platform for the future collection of cessation services to be offered statewide in Minnesota.


Commercial tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death and disease, killing over 6,300 Minnesotans each year and costing the state more than $3 billion in excess health care costs. Public health efforts have driven down smoking rates, but 574,000 adults in Minnesota still smoke and need help quitting.

According to 2017 data from the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System, the age-adjusted adult smoking rate in Minnesota is 14.8%. That represents a 24% decrease since 2011. However, not all

Minnesotans have realized the same decline and some populations continue to be disproportionately impacted. Commercial Tobacco Use Data by Population (PDF) at www.health.mn.gov/cessationmarketing contains a summary of current adult smoking rates in Minnesota, overall and broken down by specific populations, that are a priority focus for MDH. Populations disproportionally impacted include but are not limited to African American and American Indian communities, Minnesotans experiencing behavioral health issues, and other populations based on education, income, and geography.

Electronic nicotine delivery system (also known as e-cigarettes) use among Minnesota adults and youth is substantial. It adds to the harms of nicotine addiction and increases the need for access to cessation services. 3.5% of adults and 10.8% of young adults (aged 18-24) use e-cigarettes (currently some days or every day) (BRFSS 2017). According to 2017 data from the Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey (MYTS 2017), 19.2% of 9th through 12th graders use e-cigarettes (past 30 days). See E-cigarette Data (PDF) at www.health.mn.gov/cessationmarketing for additional e-cigarette use data.

QUITPLAN® Services and the No Judgments. Just Help. campaign: QUITPLAN® Services is a free program available to anyone who wants to quit tobacco and offers a wide array of tools for eligible Minnesotans. Tools include text messaging, an email program, a quit guide, and starter kits with two weeks of free patches, gum, or lozenges. QUITPLAN® Services has served more than 150,000 since its inception.

In March of 2014, ClearWay MinnesotaSM launched the No Judgments, Just Help. campaign. After conducting formative research with smokers, they found that many smokers felt overwhelmed by judgment and shame about their smoking habit. Smokers reported knowing the reasons they should quit, but lacked the support needed to quit. The purpose of the campaign was to engage smokers with supportive and encouraging messages. They wanted to connect with smokers wherever they are in their quitting process and let them know that QUITPLAN® Services understood how difficult it is to quit. The goal of the campaign was to educate smokers about how QUITPLAN® Services provides support and motivate them to make a quit attempt.

Scope of Work:

1. General Tasks

                1.1. Stay current with emerging tobacco control-related topics, emerging commercial tobacco use trends, and new tobacco use data, and also be knowledgeable about the following information.

                                • Commercial tobacco use rates and disparities in Minnesota

                                • The importance of cessation interventions as part of comprehensive statewide commercial tobacco control

                                • Barriers to cessation for Minnesota’s communities that still use commercial tobacco

                                • Best practices in health communications for commercial tobacco prevention and  control

                                • Past campaigns promoting cessation services in Minnesota

                                • MDH’s mission and values

                1.2. Coordinate a kick-off meeting to discuss and develop a table of deliverables, associated       activities, frequency, and due dates.

                1.3. Coordinate approvals of timelines, work plans, media plans, creative assets, and all other deliverables with MDH. All collateral and assets developed as part of this work will need to be approved by MDH. MDH may take up to five business days to complete approvals.

2. Brand Development and Management

The selected Contractor will conduct market research to determine the brand equity of QUITPLAN® Services and make a recommendation as to whether the new services should continue QUITPLAN® Services branding, rebrand, or create entirely new branding.

2.1 Conduct an inventory of current QUITPLAN® Services marketing assets and identify and list all assets that can be reused, or if needed, rebranded or recreated.

                2.2 Use surveys, focus groups, a competitive scan of other state quitline branding strategies, and other marketing research strategies to determine the current status and brand equity of the QUITPLAN® Services brand positioning.

                2.3 Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the current QUITPLAN® Services brand and make a recommendation and strategic plan for transitioning the QUITPLAN® Services brand to the new cessation services to be operated by MDH.

                2.4 Provide cost estimates for alternative branding strategies: maintaining the QUITPLAN® Services brand, rebranding, or creating an entirely new brand identity.

                2.5 If the alternative of a new brand identity is chosen, develop and maintain a brand identity for the new statewide tobacco cessation services. Branding should be science-based and culturally informed and follow the tenets of social marketing best practices.

                2.5.1 In a process to be determined before contract execution, develop a strategy to engage diverse stakeholders in a branding initiative that may include conducting or collecting research (such as interviews, focus groups, surveys) to develop a brand platform and inform the development of brand components.

                2.5.2 Develop a brand platform for the new statewide cessation services, including positioning, alignment, personality, promise, and value proposition.

                2.5.3 Define a visual brand identity and naming convention.

                2.5.4 Development of three to five logos for final review and approval by MDH.

                2.5.5 Once the name and visual identity are finalized, create graphic standards and style guidelines, templates, and usage examples (such as press releases, memos, social media posts).

                2.5.6 Create a brand guide.

                2.5.7 Design and implement marketing and brand collateral, in collaboration with MDH and the Cessation Services Contractor (who has yet to be determined), including, but not limited to a           website and landing pages, an electronic mailing list, and a social media presence.

                2.5.8 Collaborate with MDH and the Cessation Services Contractor to ensure all consumer-facing materials and media related to this work are branded appropriately.

3. Campaign Development and Implementation

Develop and implement a campaign to raise awareness and promote the new and free statewide tobacco cessation services. The campaign should be designed to engage Minnesotans who use tobacco, encourage quit attempts, and increase use of these services. 5

                3.1. Develop a plan to use existing, relevant creative assets from similar statewide or national    tobacco prevention or cessation campaigns.

                3.2. Develop and produce effective creative assets that help change social norms around tobacco and promote quitting. This includes targeted, culturally informed materials to reach populations most disparately impacted by the harms of commercial tobacco.

                3.3. Develop a plan for formative testing of campaign materials with diverse target audiences.

                3.4. Develop, implement, and measure content and digital marketing strategies to support the campaign to ensure relevancy in diverse target audiences.

                3.5. Develop and execute public relations to promote the new statewide cessation services,      including event support.

                3.6. Plan, negotiate and buy statewide media to effectively reach diverse target audiences and maximize budgets. This may include broadcast, print and out-of-home, digital, and other innovative or nontraditional media to reach populations most disparately impacted by the harms of commercial tobacco.

                3.7. Provide strong management and outstanding client service, including, but not limited to, detailed billings, creative briefs, weekly status reports, production timelines and calendars, and service reports to record decisions and next steps.

                3.8. Participate in campaign evaluations and reporting as directed by MDH.

                3.9. Provide access to staff in the company that are well-established and senior.

Mandatory Skills and Qualifications

                • Responders must have experience developing social marketing public health campaigns.

                • Responder must have a total annual billings of $1,000,000 or more.

                • Responder must comply with MDH’s Commercial Tobacco-Free Organizational Commitment.

Due Date:

November 13, 2019


Laura Oliven Tobacco Prevention and Control Minnesota Department of Health 85 East 7th Place Suite 220 St. Paul, MN 55101 651-201-3535

MWWPR and W2O group are agencies worth considering for this assignment.

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