It’s hard to believe, but it has been 14 years since the first significant antismoking campaign – “Truth” – launched in 2000. In the classic video, young people pull up to the Philip Morris headquarters in New York and dump out 1,200 body bags – one for each person who died daily as a results of tobacco smoking.
It was a stunning commercial, and a very effective one. In a research study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the “Truth” campaign has been attributed with preventing 450,000 teens from smoking. Today, 9% of teens smoke, down from 23% in 2000. That’s a big impact for a public service campaign.
The new campaign is called “Finish it” and it launched this week in video and social media. The campaign wants teenagers to superimpose a campaign logo onto their profile pictures to help spread the message. The campaign’s goal is lofty and worthy – to have 0% of teenagers smoking.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss social responsibility in marketing.
- Poll students about public service campaigns. What is memorable, why, and did it change behavior? (ex: drunk driving, texting while driving, seat belts, etc.)
- Show the original “Truth” video:
- Show the new “Finish It” video:
- Divide students into teams and have team analyze the two commercials for messages, target market, effectiveness, etc.
- Next, have each team select a social responsibility topic and design a campaign to reach the audience and educate them about the topic.
Source: New York Times