saatchi will scare you straight

I am not a smoker. I never have been, either. It’s just one of those things that I naturally don’t have a taste for which means that I am not militantly anti-smoking either. Sure, it’s not great for a person, but neither are lots of behaviors that ordinary people partake in that don’t have governments all around the world advertising against.

And, it’s important to remember, the death rate will always remain at 100% no matter what we do.

That said, were I a smoker, this ad from Saatchi & Saatchi in Romania would positively scare me straight:


With its Medieval/Black Plague style look, the ad definitely breaks through. And the wretched humans at the end of the cigarette scrambling not get ashed into the ash tray is reminiscent of any number of paintings that show humans desperately trying to escape from hell. And, when you think about it, dying of lung cancer or other smoking-related diseases certainly does sound like hell.

This ad communicates that message well. Even though it will now haunt my dreams.


5 responses to “saatchi will scare you straight

  1. Dante’s Inferno in print. Incredibly powerful. Wish this had appeared years before I managed to quit. Guess Romanians know a thing or two about smokers.

  2. that’s brilliant print. i won’t even ask why the it’s in english. i don’t care. even if it’s scam it’s still brilliant.

  3. Having worked on anti-smoking efforts, including the Truth campaign, I’ll say with authority that the threat of death is rarely effective. Otherwise, the Surgeon General’s warning, along with all the spots featuring people sporting holes in their throats and undergoing chemotherapy might have made a dent in slowing the flow of cigarette addicts. Other countries have gone so far as to literally depict photos of chemo patients and dead fetuses on cigarette packages with little success. While this ad might feel like a cool idea—and the art direction is provocative—it’s safe to say it will fail miserably in its objective. Besides, anyone who has ever traveled abroad will confirm that smoking is as popular as ever. Think about it. We’re constantly seeing companies like automakers and others reporting downward sales figures. When’s the last time you saw Big Tobacco bemoaning its quarterly earnings?

  4. Pingback: scaring teens until they stop smoking « the daily (ad) biz

  5. as someone who smoked for a long time I’m just saying this worked on me. Obviously there are other approaches. But not all smokers are the same or at the same stage of addiction. If you’re thinking about quitting, seeing an image as powerful as this could be the tipping point.

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