Multilingual Business Communication

November 2, 2008

Halloween gives birth to anti-smoking ad

Filed under: Anja Peleman, business communication, marketing communication — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 9:24 pm

The National Health Service (NHS) has already made a lot of hard-hitting advertisements to discourage smoking. The newest one was a TV campaign, timed especially for Halloween. All these ads are part of the NHS’ Smokefree campaign, which was kicked-off in June this year. This was set up because numbers of the NHS showed that over a fifth of adults still smoke.

 In this anti-smoking ad, created by advertising agency Miles Calcraft Brigingshaw Duffy (MCVD), an obvious link with Halloween has been made. With this Halloween-ad, the NHS wants to promote the NHS Stop Smoking Service.  The NHS also set up a complete website for this. It is also not the first time that the NHS mimics smoking habits of parents: there was already an advertisement set to the famous kid song ‘On Account’a I Love You’ from Shirley Temple.

Even though the NHS tries to be original with this ad by anticipating Halloween, we can ask ourselves the question if linking the anti-smoking action to one event in the year will have enough impact? How long can this ad be broadcasted without losing its clear topic link to Halloween? In my opinion, this ad can surely be called very original, but I doubt whether the impact will be bigger just by producing an ad for this one event in the year. Even though, I can understand that the NHS searches new ways to convince smokers that smoking is bad for your health. But unfortunately, many studies have already shown that the impact of overall anti-smoking ads stays very negligible. A very important aspect for an anti-smoking campaign to be effective is that it must be a prologonged campaign, like McVey and Stapleton found in their study. So it seems to me that a good idea for the NHS could be to maintain this original way of making advertisements. An anti-smoking ad that is linked with Christmas for example, or with the celebration of New Year. Things like that could be the perfect way to catch the eye from smokers in my opinion.  

When talking about anti-smoking ads, a particular blog must be mentioned:  this blog was especially set up to collect different anti-smoking ads from all around the world. And there it is obvious again: producers of this kind of advertisements search their inspiration everywhere!

Anja Peleman

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2 Comments »

  1. My first comment is about your links. It is good that you link to your sources, but your url is quite long. You can solve this by letting one word ‘carry’ your link (by using hyperlinks).

    The National Health Service (NHS) has already made a lot of hard-hitting advertisements to discourage smoking. The newest one was a TV campaign, timed especially for Halloween. All these ads are part of the NHS’ Smokefree campaign, which was kicked-off in June this year. This was set up because numbers of the NHS showed that over a fifth of adults still smoke.

    In this anti-smoking ad, created by advertising agency Miles Calcraft Brigingshaw Duffy (MCVD), an obvious link with Halloween has been made. The ad starts with a young girl in a dark bedroom, saying: “I’m not scared of the dark.” The further scenes take other objects of children’s fear in account, like spiders and clowns. The girl claims not being [claims no to be] scared of any of them. But at the end of the ad, we see a group of young mums chatting and smoking a cigarette. It’s at this moment that the young girl says: “I’m scared of my mum smoking.” At this moment , one of the mums turns and smiles at the camera. While doing this, we hear the young girl saying “I’m scared of my mum smoking.” [at this moment … –> exact repetition of your previous two sentences] This 30-second TV ad ends with [by] pointing out that 2.000 people die each week from smoking-related diseases.

    Anti-Smoking Ad
    [this is very strange. Either include the movie or let this link merge with your text]

    With this Halloween-aid [ad] , the NHS wants to promote the NHS Stop Smoking Service. This includes a phone number for a smoking helpline, where people can get extended information on how to stop smoking. The NHS also set up a complete website for this (http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/smoking/Pages/Smokinghome.aspx) [this url should be carried by the word website.] . It’s also not the first time that the NHS mimics smoking habits of parents: there was already an advertisement set to the famous kid song ‘On Account’a I Love You’ from Shirley Temple (http://nl.youtube.com/watch?v=eZTArSleKI4).

    Nevertheless [wrong linking word! 'Even though'] the NHS tries to be original with this ad by anticipating [on] Halloween, we can ask [ourselves] the question if it will have more impact to link the anti-smoking action to one event in the year [if linking the anti-smoking action to one event in the year will have enough impact] ? How long can this ad be broadcasted to stay topical with the event of Halloween [without losing its clear topic link to Halloween] ?

    [this last paragraph is the most important one. Try to elaborate on this a bit more]

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7700222.stm

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/oct/31/advertising-television

    Comment by Marilyn Michels — November 16, 2008 @ 11:24 am

  2. There are two elements in this blog on which I would like to comment

    First: this campaign mainly focusses on an adult target group. The advertisement uses a health based theory called “Theory of Reasoned Action” (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1975) to influence parents. They focus on what other people, in this case children, think about smoking: “I’m scared of them”. By exposing parents to a social normative pressure health message, the NHS thinks they can persuade parents to quit because of their children’s wants.
    In my opinion, this ad won’t have an effective effect on the smoking behavior of parents. Initially, parents will feel guilty when seeing this ad, but numerous studies have shown that guilt doesn’t motivate smokers to drop their habit in the long run. It might motivate them to stop, but chances are that they will relapse.

    Second: anti-smoking ads are only effective if they are undertaken routinely. If this ad isn’t part of a prolonged campaign, these induced feelings of guilt will fade away. Once again, a relapse is possible.

    Comment by Lana Robignon — November 20, 2008 @ 11:40 am


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