Smokefree: Generation Gap
Department of Health: SmokeFree
Best MultiMedia Campaign
Despite a steady decline over the last few decades, smoking in the UK is still the biggest cause of preventable death.
Research showed that the hardest-to-influence group were skilled and non-skilled blue collar workers amongst whom, smoking is a more normalised behaviour.
In addition, UK smokers appeared to have become hardened to the shocking health messages (and graphic images) that have been prevalent on cigarette packets and in anti-smoking campaigns over recent years.
The Next Generation
A poll of 1,000 children aged 8-13 (on behalf of NHS Stop Smoking Services) revealed that nearly 96% of those with a smoking parent wish they would quit. The majority were very clear on the risks of smoking, with 87% believing that their health is damaged when people smoke around them and 76% recognising that smoking increases the likelihood of developing cancer.
The children polled also felt that being brought up in a smokefree environment would improve the health of the family (84%) and improve family finances (69%).
Imagery and direct messages from the health services weren’t working, but surely even the most hardened smokers would listen if their children told them exactly how their smoking made them feel?
The solution was the ‘SmokeFree Generation Gap’, a series of completely unscripted ads by the children of real smokers, playing on their parents' favourite radio stations and interrupting their day with a startling and emotional message.
Allowing the children to voice their very real concerns, in their own words, avoided the ads sounding too ‘schmaltzy’ and allowed for some incredibly poignant cut-through on radio stations across the UK.
“The Smokefree Generation campaign successfully managed to engage our audience with the message that smoking is the enemy of the family. Integration between our creative and communications planning agencies to deliver an innovative solution has helped make strides towards our long term goal of reducing smoking prevalence of Routine and Manual workers in England."
Paul Brewer, Head of Marketing: Tobacco Control