However, study found media campaigns from other sponsors were effective…
On this one I will have to change my tune. Usually I am dissenting from the popular opinion of this blog, telling the government to stay out of my kitchen and such. On the subject of smoking though, I believe we need all the help we can get. I still support smokers rights; an adult makes their own decisions and lives with the consequences. But, smoking tobacco is so addictive that a twelve year old can pick up their first cigarette and find themselves hopelessly addicted for the next twenty years. As an ex-smoker I can attest to this. Smokers will smoke, but lets do all we can to help people avoid it in the first place.
This article brings to light how it is more important for anti-smoking advertising to have a message that is strikingly effective rather than just out in the open. When I read this I thought about the stark contrasts of my reactions to two different anti-smoking / drug campaigns I have seen. The first campaign was recently aired by the Centers for Disease Control in which they display the graphic effects of smoking on former smokers. These commercials are powerful and disturbing, but as a viewer and non-smoker the ads have made me more motivated to never smoke than any other of the many anti-smoking ads I have seen previous. In contrast, many of the ‘Above The Influence’ anti-drug ads for teenagers are light and easy to brush off, which defeats the purpose of the ads and also can create a mockery of the process. Certain commercials, namely the “twisted” commercial, seem so forced when trying to relate to teenagers that it is hard for the target audience to even take the ad seriously enough to absorb the ad’s important message. The ‘Above The Influence’ campaign would be better suited to take the approach of the CDC’s campaign by using simple and penetrating messages that stick in the mind of the viewer for the right reasons.
This article isn’t surprising in the least bit – companies and campaigns spend huge amounts of money trying to find the best way to make people stop smoking, and it’s a good sign that people are really listening. However, as an advertising major I would definitely say that the Truth campaign seems to be the most effective in my opinion. Unlike most state-sponsored campaigns, the Truth campaign uses a lot of different “guerilla” marketing techniques in an attempt to get the attention of the consumer through “shock and awe” tactics. Incidentally, it seems to me that the Truth campaign has less money to spend in the long run and therefore isn’t as well known as state-sponsored advertisements.
I agree wholeheartedly with .geneva.rose. on the amazing take a away message of the truth campaigns. They act as the little voice inside your head when you know you shouldn’t do something dumb. It shows real people and real and prevalent scenarios that the viewers relate to directly. The link below is my personal favorite Truth commercial. Although it doesn’t tell a touching story, you can visually see how many people are affected and killed. “Take a day off”… it seems so simple, yet why doesn’t it happen?
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Depicts 320,000 light bulbs, equal to the number of kilowatt hours of electricity wasted in the United States every minute from inefficient residential electricity usage (inefficient wiring, computers in sleep mode, etc.).