Clear The Air News Tobacco Blog Rotating Header Image

June 25th, 2012:

Ad deconstructed: The ‘Smoking Kid’

June 25, 2012 6:53 pm

No smoking advert for public image

Client: Thai Health Promotion Foundation; Agency: Ogilvy & Mather; Territory: Thailand; 4/5

It has been described as the “world’s cleverest anti-smoking ad”. In the annals of why-didn’t-I-think-of-that moments for creative directors, the online ad created by Ogilvy & Mather for the Thai Health Promotion Foundation is brilliant in its simplicity.

It opens with Thai adults taking a cigarette break. Cut to our heroes: two cute children (aged seven and 10) brandishing their own cigarettes.

Each child approaches a group of adults and asks them for a light. The smokers, visibly shocked, admonish them that “smoking is bad for you”.

Each child responds: “So why are you smoking?” before proffering a folded note and walking away. A close-up shows the note says: “You worry about me but why not about yourself?”, above a “quit smoking” hotline number.

The ad has gone viral, and the agency says calls to the hotline have increased by 40 per cent in the weeks after the launch of the online ad.

The ad succeeds because viewers are as shocked as the adult smokers at children wanting to light up. But it also works because it inadvertently taps into the country’s recent push to get Thais healthier.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2012. You may share using our article tools.
Please don’t cut articles from and redistribute by email or post to the web. By submitting this comment I confirm that I have read and agreed to the FT terms and conditions. Please also see our commenting guidelines.


Open for comments. Click to closeClosed. Click to open for commenting

1.      dynamco | June 27 3:47pm | Permalink

| Options

sadly you are too slow
a great idea went viral, then they quickly pulled the Youtube video
They, I presume is the ad company, which earns more from Big Tobacco than it earns from a Thai Health Authority.
meanwhile health authorities should get the like message and make the like ads in their own countries. Power to the Children.