Review: Cavers on…Smoking Kid

Thai Health Promotion Foundation- Smoking Kid - YouTubeThe great thing about our 24/7/365 connected world is the ability to see some stunning campaigns from around the world – that not only inspire you to do great work yourself, but also to make you think.
One particular campaign that recently caught my eye was ‘Smoking Kid’, by Ogilvy Asia, which really stands out from the crowd.
The Thai Health Promotion Foundation produced an anti-smoking campaign based around the insight that adults know smoking is harmful – yet they keep smoking – but how would they feel if a child smokes?
Ogilvy Asia produced a fly on the wall film that features kids asking for a light from an adult smoker. Every adult smoker filmed went to great lengths explain to the kids that smoking is bad for them.
The smokers are shocked and then list the reasons why the kids should not smoke, from cigarettes containing insecticide to “you look old when you smoke”, along with a liberal sprinkling of you will get lung cancer, emphysema, strokes and you will die young – all blindingly obvious but seemingly to have no effect on the smokers who continue to puff away.
Mike-Cavers-006-300x201The kids then cleverly ask “So why are you smoking?” as they hand the smoker a piece of paper and then walk away. The piece of paper reads, “You worry about me, but why not about yourself?”
Most of the smokers who received the leaflet stopped to think and threw away their cigarettes – but more importantly none threw away the leaflet. This resulted in a 40% increase in phone enquiries by smokers who wanted to quit.
This was DRTV at its best and without a call to action in sight – using a brilliant insight to engage and great voyeuristic filming to drive the point home.
Well, it worked for me, and I have shared it with as many of my smoking friends as possible to help them to think about quitting.

Mike Cavers is executive creative director at Lateral Group

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