Case Study

Heart and Stroke

Heart & Stroke Foundation – Winner of 2020 IAB Bookmarks Bronze

Heart & Stroke Foundation – Winner of 2020 IAB Bookmarks Bronze


The Heart and Stroke Foundation asked us to create a campaign to raise awareness around the dangers of smoking. We took this brief to the next level and shifted focus to something more insidious for this decade – vaping.


Through extensive research, we discovered vaping companies are not only largely owned by big tobacco companies but are implementing identical tactics used 50 years ago, with a focus on hooking teenagers.
These companies released PR campaigns dressed as reputable studies on how vaping was benign. In truth, because vaping hasn’t been around long enough to understand the long-term effects, any study is entirely inconclusive neither stating whether it was against it or for it. Vaping is one of the biggest scientific experiments in human history driven by a monumental fake news campaign proclaiming that it is safe.


We fought fire with fire and created a “fake” campaign of our own. We implemented the same tactics used globally in fake news campaigns. We created a campaign using what seemed to be sensationalist headlines of the borderline outlandish claims of how people were being affected by vaping. Pure clickbait. In truth, each campaign was rooted in science and studies on the real side effects of vaping.
Nine stories were created and appeared through programmatic banners, native advertising and social advertising. The aim was to lead each user to a specially created fake news platform called Nobody Knows News. Here, the headline was supported by a sensationalist story that immediately switched over to the truth of the campaign and what science genuinely does and does not know. This then lead people through to the HASF website for the full story and where one could go in order to quit not only vaping but smoking.
Our fake news articles spread just like fake news does, as people unawarely shared these posts without reading the full articles.



These are the results achieved directly through the efforts of Mark1 and Mark1 Labs.

23 500 000


(4 x KPI) (22 139 967 digital)


Site visits

CPM R9.03

(3 x Benchmark)

CTR 1.66%

6 x Benchmark



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