Smoking incurs heavy financial costs for direct medical expenditures and lost productivity related to premature death. The Alaska Tobacco Prevention and Control Program designed a media campaign called 'The Real Cost' to raise awareness of the economic cost of smoking to all Alaskans, regardless of their smoking status. The campaign presented this information through television and radio ads between December 2012 and March 2013. The first ad, 'Dream Scene', focused on overall cost of smoking to Alaska. The second ad, 'Oil Change', focused on lost productivity. We conducted three cross-sectional telephone surveys, one prior to the campaign and one after each ad was run to assess changes in beliefs associated with the main campaign messages. At Survey 2, we observed increased adjusted odds of agreement with the main campaign message, 'I am affected financially by other people's smoking' (adjusted odds ratio = 4.5, 95% confidence interval = 3.0-6.7). At Survey 3, we observed elevated adjusted odds of agreement for beliefs related to all campaign messages. This campaign was successful in raising knowledge and awareness of the cost of smoking on a societal level among adult, nonsmoking residents of Alaska.