CREATIVE STRATEGY: Thai children demo a radical anti-smoking strategy
To say I'm not a fan of smoking would be something of an understatement. And so I'm always on the lookout to celebrate good anti-smoking campaigns.
Thai Health Promotion Foundation: runs anti-smoking campaign
Shock tactics are often the answer to this brief. And some of the imagery on fag packets around the world is something to behold. If you have a strong stomach.
And yet even people who’ve spent their whole lives surrounded by campaigns explaining why not to smoke and how to quit still end up huddled in rain-swept doorways puffing away.
It’s particularly shocking to someone of my generation to see otherwise health-conscious younger folk with their ready supply of Marlboro Lights.
So what if you could devise a campaign where smokers themselves could be prompted to promote the anti message?
Amazingly, this has been done, as you’ll see in this film:
It’s a simple, but highly effective idea. Children are sent out to ask smokers for a light. Without exception, the adult nicotine-addicts then launch into lectures on the evils of cigarettes.
After listening with rapt attention, the children quietly hand over a slip of paper that essentially thanks the adult for caring, but asks them why they don’t also worry about themselves.
Some people are already claiming this is the best anti-smoking ad ever.
I don’t know about that; but if the claimed 40% increase in response to the Thai Health Promotion Foundation campaign is true, then other countries should also look into this strategy.
Simon S Kershaw is a creative consultant and a former creative director at Craik Jones
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