2013 Mobile Awards

mobile, web, IoT, desktop, connected devices
design champion, best studio, best start-up & IoT
plus 20 specialist nomination categories

demand design, celebrate courage





Project Overview

My QuitBuddy is a game changing mobile support program to help Australians quit smoking once and for all.

Project Commissioner


Project Creator

UM Australia & The Project Factory


James Filmer, Chief Innovation Officer, UM Australia
Richard Chataway, Strategy Director, UM Australia
Katherine Fraser, Communications Director, UM Australia
Mat Fahd, Account Manager, UM Australia
Paul Den, Communications Strategist, UM Australia
Michelle Van Eerde, Communications Manager, UM Australia
Erin Tidswel, Account Manager, UM Australia
Laura Moso, Producer, The Project Factory
Jennifer Wilson Executive Producer, The Project Factory
Andrew Skinner, Developer, The Project Factory
Claire Evans, Senior Producer, The Project Factory

Project Brief

Smoking is the largest preventable cause of death and disease in Australia killing 15,000 people every year.

Whilst 96% of Australians are aware of its harmful consequences and the vast majority have tried to quit at least once in the past, only 4% to 7% of quit attempts are successful without medicines or other help.

We saw an opportunity to create a unique mobile support tool that would be at people’s side 24 / 7 to coach them through every step of their quit journey. If it could increase the effectiveness of smokers’ quit attempts by even 5% then we could make a huge reduction to overall smoking prevalence.

Project Need

My QuitBuddy is an innovative mobile tool that demonstrates how combining creative thinking, social psychology and smart mobile development can drive positive behaviour change.

Its take-up has been astounding with over 200,000 downloads already on iOS and Android – that’s 7% of all Australian smokers.

Over 4,600,000 sessions have been registered, which equates to an incredible 5 years’ worth of cumulative support time clocked up.

The 4.5 star rating and extremely positive reviews demonstrate the difference it’s making to people’s lives. Just select ‘Most Recent’ on the iTunes Store for a sample of the positive feedback – e.g. the most recent review:

Fantastic *****

By Toohardtopickname – Jul 24, 2013

Is brilliant beyond expectations!! Covers (for me) every aspect of dealing with quitting incuding cravings, motivations as well as documenting the process (so I don’t forget how far I’ve come). It’s brilliant, whole heated 5 star recommendation. Good luck all!!!

Whilst usage figures are important, our goal was to increase people’s quit success rates. This was achieved beyond all expectations.

39% of smokers who have used My QuitBuddy have said they are managing to stay quit after six months. This is an incredible 800% increase on standard success rates.

User Experience

To build the most effective quit smoking tool it had to be the most motivating. Enticing for one person are not always as effective for the next. My QuitBuddy therefore had to include as many motivational techniques as possible to carry people through their quit attempt.

Rational functionality focuses on health benefits:

•Infographic counters . Live counters show days, hours and minutes smoke-free, cigarettes avoided, milligrams of chemicals avoided, and dollars saved.
•Visual health. Witness recovery through a human body infographic visually healing over time.
•Danger times. Set key times for My QuitBuddy to get in touch e.g. Friday work drinks

Emotional functionality leverages the positive influence of friends and family:

•My goals. Record personal goals in pictures, words or audio messages e.g. “You can do it Daddy!”
•Buddy Up. Nominate friends and family to call in times of need
•Remind Me. A personalised slideshow creates a vivid reminder of the reasons for quitting.

Social functionality connects people going through the same journey:

•Community Notes. Share progress and quit tips with others on the same journey.

Gamification functionality breaks down the arduous journey into a series of attainable achievements:

•Distractions. Keep fingers occupied through distraction tips and a ‘Fruit Sorter’ mini game.
•Recovery levels. Unlock ‘recovery levels’ with progress e.g. “After 1 week your sense of taste’s improved”
•Personal best. If a lifetime smoke free is too distant a goal, aim for a new ‘high score’.

Project Marketing

The days of being able to build any app and expect people to discover it are unfortunately long gone. A mind blowing 25 billion have been downloaded (Mashable) and given the sheer volume in existence, achieving visibility has never been harder. As many as 2/3 of apps launched receive negligible to zero downloads resulting in the dreaded ‘zombie app’ classification (Adeven).

Our launch strategy was simple – build an app that’s so innovative in approach and so effective in outcome that people will publicise and share it. Corresponding earned publicity would enable us to get My QuitBuddy into as many smokers’ hands as possible – and avoid the ‘walking dead’ curse.

My QuitBuddy’s game changing approach to anti-tobacco advertising generated $750k of equivalent media value.

Due to its innovative nature, Channel 10’s The Project created a dedicated 2 minute interview about My QuitBuddy with the Federal Health Minister, the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP.

Online the app was featured across nearly 5,000 Healthcare and lifestyle sites.

My QuitBuddy was also featured prominently on Apple’s iTunes Store and became the Number One app within Health & Fitness.

Our longer term marketing approach is to listen and respond to users. Several updates have been released based on users’ requests and more are in development. My QuitBuddy will also be released on a new platform later this year to help as many Australians as possible.

This category recognises applications developed for all levels of government services.
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